When most people think of a car accident, they picture one car crashing into another. But sometimes, an accident can occur without the vehicles touching at all. These are known as “no-contact” car accidents.
In many cases, no-contact accidents can make the insurance claim process really difficult because the other driver might not stop or even realize that they caused an accident. If you were the victim of a no-contact accident, it’s best to consult with a car accident lawyer who can help you review your best options.
What Is a No-Contact Car Accident?
no-contact accidents occur when another driver’s actions cause you to crash in some way. The at-fault driver’s vehicle does not actually touch your vehicle, but they are still responsible for you getting into an accident.
Examples of No-Contact Car Accidents
Here are some sample scenarios of no-contact accidents:
- You’re driving on the road and a motorist on your right suddenly starts merging into your lane without using their blinkers. This forces you to swerve to the left, and you collide with a car in the oncoming lane
- A driver in front of you drifts into your lane and brakes without warning, causing you to slam on your brakes to avoid rear-ending them. But this leads to you get hit by the car behind you
- Another driver fails to yield when you have the right of way. You swerve to avoid them, running off the road and hitting a tree
What Is a Phantom Driver?
Sometimes, the driver who caused your collision may not even realize it or stop their vehicle. This is known as a “phantom driver” because, like a ghost or phantom, they easily disappear after the accident.
A phantom driver is problematic because, in order to take them to court or make a claim for damages with their insurance, you’ll need some identifying information. If they left the scene right away, you might not have much information on them.
Can I Make a Claim for Damages After a No-Contact Car Accident?
Legally, you are entitled to seek financial recovery for your injuries and other damages if a car accident was not your fault. If the other driver noticed what happened and pulled over after you crashed, you can get their name, contact information, and insurance information to submit a claim for damages.
But if the other driver is not able to be identified (which is unfortunately common in no-contact car accidents), they would be considered the same as an uninsured or underinsured driver. That means damages would fall under your own auto insurance’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) policy.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Unless you request otherwise, your insurance company must provide UM/UIM coverage in the amount equal to the liability insurance limits of your regular policy. That means if your insurance policy includes the minimum coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident, you would have the same amount of UM/UIM coverage.
Most Georgia drivers have UM/UIM coverage, even if they don’t know it, because insurance companies are required to offer it. However, it is an optional coverage that you can opt out of. If you’re unsure, a good car accident lawyer can also help you review your policy and make sure it goes towards ever damage possible.
A seasoned attorney can carefully review your policy and ensure you receive every penny you deserve. They can also help you research and gather as much evidence as possible about the accident. You’ll need this to prove to your insurer that the accident happened and the use of your UM/UIM policy is justified.
What to Do After a No-Contact Car Accident
Since evidence is important for any car accident claim, you’ll need to gather as much as you can if you want to recover for no-contact car accident damages. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and support your case after the accident.
After the accident happens, pull over and call 911 to report the accident to local police. This will create a police report of the accident and give you a chance to tell officers exactly what happened. If you happened to get the license plate of the at-fault driver, give this and any other identifying information to the police. A license plate number is also powerful information for your insurance company when they are looking at your claim.
Use your phone to snap photos of your injuries, vehicle damage, and the accident scene. If anyone else was injured or suffered property damage, get pictures of that too.
Talk to Witnesses
Witness accounts are often invaluable in no-contact accident claims. Witnesses help prove the accident was caused by another driver—not you. If anyone saw the accident happen, ask them to write down every detail of what they saw and get their contact information. Your car accident lawyer will reach out to them soon.
Witnesses can include:
- Passengers in your vehicle
- Another person who was involved in the accident
- Someone walking the accident scene when it occurred
- Another driver who saw what happened
Call a Car Accident Attorney
If you report the accident to your car insurance company without further information, chances are good they’ll force you to accept fault and won’t offer compensation. But a car accident lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim that will increase your chances of getting the financial recovery you deserve.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
no-contact car accidents are some of the most frustrating auto accidents you can get into. You know the collision was not your fault, but it can be hard to convince your insurer of that truth. At John Foy & Associates, we can help.
Our attorneys know what insurance companies are looking for to accept a claim, and we have the resources to uncover the information you might not be able to get on your own. With more than 20 years of experience helping accident victims get the financial recovery they need after an accident, we know what it takes to win a case. For a FREE consultation, where we’ll listen to your situation and discuss your best options, contact us today. Call us anytime at 404-400-4000, or complete the quick form on this page to get started with your free consultation.