In most car accidents, there are at least two vehicles involved. Usually, one is at fault, though in certain instances both people may have contributed to the event. However, single-vehicle accidents can be just as serious, and can in many cases result in real claims for personal injury.
Early on the morning of Sunday, September 1, a yet-unidentified man driving a motorcycle skidded off I-295 near the border between Maryland and the District of Columbia, crashing near the ramp onto Eastern Avenue. Although he was transported to the hospital, he tragically succumbed to his injuries on Sunday morning.
Just because there is only one vehicle involved in an auto accident does not mean there is no valid personal injury claim. Traffic in the District and its surrounding areas can be heavy, and frequent merges and sprawling construction projects are rife with opportunity for accidents. Although it may never be known how the accident on Sunday morning happened, it is possible that another vehicle changed lanes abruptly or merged too quickly, cutting the motorcyclist off and causing him to lose control.
When a driver negligently causes an accident without making contact, it is referred to as a “phantom vehicle” claim. In these cases, uninsured motorist coverage can apply, allowing an injured victim to claim medical costs, pain, and suffering without knowing the precise identity of the person who caused the accident. In order to make a phantom vehicle claim, an uninsured motorist policy usually requires a prompt police report and diligence on the part of the victim. A personal injury attorney who understands single-vehicle accidents can assist in navigating the murky waters of uninsured motorist policy so the innocent victim can be compensated.
Additionally, victims of single-vehicle accidents can sometimes still seek compensation even if there was no other vehicle or hazard involved. If you were a passenger in a single-vehicle accident, you likely have a claim against the driver of the vehicle for negligence. In most cases, you will not need to actually sue the driver. If your driver was a friend or acquaintance, your single-vehicle car accident attorney will be able to contact their insurance company directly and resolve the claim through that company.
Sometimes, it turns out that the driver in the single-vehicle accident wasn’t carrying proper insurance coverage. Even if your driver didn’t have auto insurance, you may still be able to recover under your own personal uninsured motorist policy, or under an insurance policy owned by someone you live with. Here, again, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to provide you with the guidance you need in order to navigate the claim. Even though uninsured motorist policies have additional, contractual requirements, not everything your insurance adjuster asks for may be required under the policy. Your attorney will be able to review the policy and determine which items you should and shouldn’t comply with in resolving your claim.
Finally, a single-vehicle accident in which the driver strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist is almost always resolved in favor of the person, not in the vehicle. Due to the more significant injuries and lengthy recovery time in such accidents, it is vitally important to select an experienced personal injury attorney, like a motorcycle accident lawyer in Chatsworth CA, to represent you.
Thank you to the experts at Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into motorcycle accidents.