The legal definition of a no-contact car accident is when one driver acts in a way that forces another driver to take evasive action or leave the road. The second driver runs into another vehicle or property, causing damage, injuries, or both. Although the two vehicles do not touch, the first vehicle is still often responsible for the damage associated with the crash.
Accidents that are caused by no-contact situations can be very complex. They can also be frustrating. If you’re the first car in a no-contact accident, the insurance company may try to say your actions are the only reason the accident occurred—but that isn’t really accurate. You were reacting to an outside force (the other driver) who truly caused the crash.
Understanding No-Contact Car Accidents
No-contact accidents are quite common, but most people don’t know much about them. In an accident without actual contact, you must still prove that the other driver was at fault. This can be especially difficult when the other driver may not even know that they caused the accident. They will probably continue on their way, completely unaware they just left the scene of an accident. In that situation, a no-contact crash could be classified as a form of a hit and run accident, as well.
Examples of No-Contact Car Accidents
There are several examples of what a no-contact car accident can look like:
- Brake checking or unexpected braking that causes you to crash.
- Someone merges into another lane with no signal causing you to move out of the way and crash.
- Another driver not yielding to traffic laws or right of way which causes you to crash.
In all of these instances, the circumstances of your accident were out of your control. Even though the at-fault party didn’t come into contact with you, they’re still responsible for your damages due to their negligence.
What To Do After a No-Contact Car Accident
If the negligent driver does not stop and you are left with no witnesses, you may not have much to present as proof of negligence. You might also have a difficult time filing any claims for financial recovery for damages or injuries. However, you may still have the right to collect damages and injury compensation through filing a personal injury claim. To know your options for sure, you’ll want the advice of a personal injury attorney.
You can’t file a claim on the no-contact individual without their information, so this means you’ll have to file with your own insurance company using your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In addition to uninsured motorist accidents, this type of insurance covers a phantom driver situation. A phantom driver accident is another name for a no-contact incident where the other driver leaves the scene of a crash without knowing they caused the accident.
Your Insurance Company and Collision Insurance
Your insurance company is often responsible for paying property damage costs when there is a no-contact accident—but only if you have collision insurance. This type of insurance is not legally required, and you may not have this type of coverage. It also will not address physical or mental injuries. Instead, uninsured motorist insurance may be a better option to get damages for your losses caused by the crash.
Don’t Expect Compensation Easily
Whether you deal with your own insurance company or file a claim against the at-fault party, you shouldn’t expect any cooperation. Insurance companies aren’t out to keep your best interests at heart. They’ll do anything and everything to pay you the bare minimum in compensation. Before you say or agree to anything, it’s best to contact a lawyer first.
Protect Yourself After a No Contact Accident
After your accident, the best first step is to seek advice from an experienced attorney like those at John Foy & Associates. We will deal with the insurance companies and guide you in the proper course of action. We can also write a demand letter that explains all the details of the no-contact accident and the damages and/or injuries incurred, the losses and recovery issues, and file a lawsuit for damages. Let us give you a FREE consultation. To get started today, call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page for your free consultation.