Not every car accident involves a collision with another motor vehicle. Sometimes an accident only involves a single vehicle--what opportunities do an injured driver or hurt passengers have to cover the costs of vehicle damage and medical care for their injuries? Several opportunities might be available, but it all depends on the unique circumstances of the accident.
Our car accident attorneys in Fayetteville and Raleigh review a few possible accident scenarios below and the potentially liable parties in each of the circumstances. Keep in mind: Every accident is unique. If a case goes to trial, every jury is unique.
In May 2015, an SUV crashed into a McDonald's restaurant in Fayetteville. Although an investigation is pending as of this writing, news reports reveal the driver claims her accelerator got stuck and prevented her from properly parking her vehicle. Should accident analysts find this to be true, the driver might be able to pursue the manufacturer for a defective or faulty car part. If the part had been replaced after-market, investigators might be able to establish evidence that the mechanic or technician who installed the accelerator pedal did not do so properly. Damages could be sought through the mechanic in those circumstances.
Separately, a car crashed into the Fayetteville DMV office on Elm Street in the fall of 2011. This was the second time this particular DMV experienced such a collision. The same driver was not responsible for both incidents. A few DMV workers required medical attention and the building suffered $50,000 in damages. In this case the 77-year-old driver admitted to mistaking the gas pedal for the brake pedal. In a case like this, generally, the building owner and workers can pursue a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. As for the injured DMV workers, since their accident occurred at work they would be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
Accidents involving crashes with animals require careful review. Crashes with 'wild' animals--which in North Carolina might occur with a number of large animals such as deer, coyote, bear, or even wild boar--could qualify for claims directly with the driver's insurance policy depending on the policy terms. For example, a driver who only maintains basic liability and does not have comprehensive coverage could pursue an insurance claim for medical costs, but not for any damage caused to the vehicle. In addition to general claims for physical injuries, policyholders should also request Med-Pay compensation, a little-known supplemental payout that can help cover treatment costs.
Car collisions with livestock or domestic animals--like cows, horses, or dogs--fall under different provisions of the law. If a driver collides with a cow in the middle of the road--the driver could likely pursue an injury and/or damage claim with the farm or other owner of the livestock. Individuals who maintain livestock are required to provide adequate fencing. Some owners fail to do so and an innocent party could suffer as a result of their carelessness.
Single Vehicle Accidents
Whether you believe your accident is a result of a defective car part or another negligent party, you deserve to understand your rights in a single accident collision. Our attorneys have successfully represented accident victims for more than 30 years in counties all across the state of North Carolina. No matter where you reside or the accident occurred in our state, we can help you understand the state and local laws that apply to your case. Our consultations are free and car accident attorney Brent Adams offers a free copy of his book Mistakes that May Wreck Your North Carolina Accident Case to all individuals who are involved in a crash in our state.