A single-vehicle accident can leave you with injuries that may require costly medical treatment. Your injuries can also prevent you from returning to work.

Not all motor vehicle accidents involve collisions between multiple vehicles. Sometimes, only one vehicle is involved in an accident. Examples of such accidents include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Motorists driving off the road
  • Cars hitting trees, utility poles, or other such barriers
  • Motorists striking animals
  • Motorists losing control of their vehicles as a result of running over debris

A single-vehicle accident can leave you with injuries that may require costly medical treatment. Your injuries can also prevent you from returning to work. This guide will explain how you may recover financial compensation for your losses in these circumstances.

Understanding No-Fault Insurance in Massachusetts

Although you will hopefully never be harmed in any type of motor vehicle accident, whether it be one involving a single vehicle or multiple vehicles, if you live and drive in Massachusetts, you theoretically don’t have to worry about recovering compensation for your medical bills and related losses to the same degree that you would if you lived in many other states throughout the country.

Massachusetts is a no-fault state in regard to motor vehicle accidents. In some states, to recover compensation for losses associated with a collision, a victim would need to prove that someone else’s negligence caused their accident. They would then seek compensation by filing a claim to collect from the negligent party’s insurance. If this is not an option, a victim can sue for damages in court.

That’s not necessary in Massachusetts. Drivers in the Commonwealth are required to purchase automobile insurance. Although some motorists might object to such a requirement, they should understand that these laws are designed for their own benefit. If you are injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, you do not need to prove negligence to recover compensation. This is because your own insurer is responsible for compensating you. There is thus no need for you to file a claim to recover from the insurance of a careless driver or other such party.

However, it’s critical for drivers to understand that insurance companies are businesses. Don’t expect your insurer to offer fair compensation as soon as you file a claim. To protect their own financial interests, it’s more likely your insurer will offer less compensation than you may deserve when the full extent of your injuries and losses is accounted for.

This is one of many reasons it is wise to hire an attorney to provide you with representation when filing a claim. While you focus on your recovery, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for an appropriate settlement. Additionally, if your injuries are particularly severe, you may be able to recover additional compensation by taking legal action against a negligent party who caused your accident.

To protect their own financial interests, it’s more likely your insurer will offer less compensation than you may deserve when the full extent of your injuries and losses is accounted for.

Massachusetts Single-Vehicle Accidents: Who is Liable?

Although Massachusetts is technically a no-fault state, when an accident victim’s injuries meet a certain threshold, they may step outside of the no-fault system and pursue compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit if it can be demonstrated that an accident occurred because another party was negligent.

Usually, the negligent party responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident will be another driver. This may still be the case even if an accident only involves one vehicle. For example, if a negligent driver was speeding through a red light or Stop sign, another driver might be forced to swerve out of the way or brake suddenly to avoid a collision. This could result in an accident if, in an attempt to prevent a collision, a driver ends up colliding with a barrier or losing control of their vehicle and driving off the road.

That said, there are other parties whose carelessness can result in single-vehicle accidents. Single-vehicle accidents can occur if the designers or manufacturers of a motor vehicle overlook defects. Pedestrians can cause accidents if, when they don’t have the right-of-way, they step out into traffic without looking for approaching vehicles, forcing any oncoming motorists to swerve or brake suddenly.

Even local government agencies may sometimes allow single-vehicle accidents to occur. This can happen if a government agency fails to address hazardous road conditions in a timely manner.

Just be aware that proving your accident resulted from another party’s negligence will require conducting an investigation. Along with negotiating with an insurance company, investigating your accident to identify the negligent parties who caused it is another task a single-vehicle accident attorney can assist you with.

Again, ideally, you will never be harmed in such an accident. That said, if you are, our team of Boston car accident attorneys at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., is on hand to provide the aggressive representation you deserve. Learn more about how we can help you recover compensation by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 to schedule your free consultation.

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James Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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