Car accidents can happen with one car, two, or multiple vehicles. And while multi-car accidents can often be identified by bent bumpers, broken glass, and demolished car frames, this evidence may not be visible on all vehicles involved. That’s because a car doesn’t have to hit you to cause an accident. This is known as a no-contact car accident. So, how can you prove fault if the other vehicle involved shows no sign of involvement or leaves the scene of the accident?
What is a no-contact car accident?
When a crash occurs without one car touching another — resulting in injuries to one driver or damage to one car — this is known as a no-contact car accident. They most often occur between two vehicles, but sometimes multiple cars are involved. The most common examples of no-contact car accidents include:
- A driver cutting you off, making you swerve and crash
- A driver stopping in front of you suddenly, and you swerve to avoid hitting them
- A driver running you off the road when they’ve changed lanes without looking
- A driver not yielding the right-of-way and forcing you to maneuver out of the way
These types of accidents are extremely difficult to prove liability because sometimes the other driver involved may not even realize they’ve caused an accident — thus, they continue driving. As such, it’s important that you know exactly what to do if you’ve been involved in a no-contact car accident.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a No-Contact Car Accident
1. Identify the Other Driver
The only way to hold the other driver liable for a no-contact accident is to be able to identify them. That’s why the first thing you need to do — after ensuring your safety — is to try and identify the vehicle that almost made contact with you. Try to remember if it was a man or a woman driving, what color the vehicle was, and the make and model. Look for any signs of unique identification — including the license plate number or distinguishing variables to the vehicle, such as a bumper sticker or decal.
Suppose you’re unable to identify any of this information. In that case, your next step is to call the police and flag down any other cars in the immediate vicinity that would have seen the accident occur firsthand. If you didn’t see the vehicle, it’s possible that another car did. When a police officer arrives on-site to make their report, they can also take comments from anyone else that witnessed the accident. Not only can the police officer use this information to track down the vehicle, but their testimony and report can be used later during the discovery process.
2. Notify Your Insurance
If you are unable to find the person responsible for the no-contact crash, then you will be held responsible for the crash by your insurance provider. That’s because any no-contact car accidents are considered single-car accidents by insurance companies.
Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, this means you’ll need to go through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to help pay for any medical costs and lost wages associated with the accident. Additionally, if you have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage, you can count the other missing driver as an uninsured motorist.
As such, you should contact your insurance provider to notify them of the accident. If the person responsible is later apprehended or identified, then you’ll be able to pursue them for liability.
3. Call a Car Accident Attorney
Knowing the right channels to contact or what information to collect can be overwhelming. That’s why you should call a lawyer to help you with your case. Every minute counts when trying to collect information that will prove your responsibility. Even if the other driver is apprehended or identified, you will need to prove that they acted negligently and their behavior led to the crash that caused you to be injured or suffer damages. An attorney can help you collect this evidence during the discovery process.
In addition to obtaining your testimony, your lawyer will look for:
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Surveillance or video footage of the crash
- Accident reconstruction experts to piece together the scene
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Clark Law if You’ve Been Involved in a No-Contact Car Accident
There are many things that can affect the outcome of your car accident claim, especially if you can’t find the other driver involved. This is why it’s crucial to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Not doing so could greatly affect your chances of receiving an adequate recovery for your damages.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.