Damages Claims for No-Contact Auto Accidents
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 04, 2020 in Auto Accident
Do you have legal options after a car crash that happened when you swerved to avoid a careless driver who then fled the scene? Is it possible to prove that driver caused your accident?
Rizk Law discusses more about how no-contact car crashes happen and important steps we recommend if it happens to you.
Our firm has handled all kinds of car accident cases, including those caused by no-contact, or phantom, drivers. If you suffered injuries and other damages in this type of crash, it is important that you seek legal help right away.
Take advantage of our free, no-obligation consultation to find out whether you may be eligible to recover compensation for your losses.
What is a No-Contact Accident?
A no-contact, indirect or phantom collision happens when a negligent driver causes you to strike another vehicle or fixed object without ever making physical contact with your vehicle.
For example, if a distracted driver in another lane unsafely tries to merge into yours, your natural reaction, like most people, is to swerve to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, in this scenario, you hit another car. Realizing what has happened, the at-fault driver simply speeds off to avoid taking responsibility. How can you identify and prove the liability of the other driver?
How Do Insurance Companies Handle No-Contact Collisions?
This type of accident creates a unique issue with your insurance company, because without evidence of another driver, it can be hard to get compensated for your damages.
Ideally, it can help if you are quick enough to grab a license plate number, but most of the time, that is challenging. Without vehicle damage or information about the other driver to help support your claim that someone else caused the crash, your claim may be denied.
Steps if a Phantom Driver Causes You to Crash
Acting quickly can be helpful if you are in an accident due to a careless phantom driver. Here are some steps that you can take to help increase your chances of recovering damages:
- Try and get the license plate of the phantom vehicle
- If you have a dash cam, check to see if the driver was captured in the video
- Check to see if there are any witnesses - the driver of the car you hit may have seen something
- The vehicle damage may support your story of swerving to avoid another car
- If you hit another car, after checking for injuries, ask if the driver saw the car you were trying to avoid
- Report the phantom driver to the police, if the at-fault driver is still on the road and you can describe the color, make and model of the car, police may be able to locate them
- Contact an attorney to help protect your interests
Pursuing Damages Through Your Own Insurance
Many times, your best bet after this type of car crash is to go through your own insurance. If you did not sign a waiver to reject your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) protection, you will have UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of your policy.
In Oregon, the minimum required UM/UIM limits must equal the state’s minimum liability limits, which are: $25,000 bodily injury coverage for one person in a single accident (or $50,000 for two or more people in one accident). Our Portland auto accident lawyers strongly recommend that you consider increasing your limits. It is a small price to pay to help protect your financial assets and provide greater peace of mind.
If the Driver You Hit Files a Claim Against Your Insurance
It is likely that if the other driver was injured, he or she may try to pursue a claim for their own damages against your insurance company. If you are unable to provide evidence of another driver, you could be assigned liability for damages you did not cause. Hiring an attorney can help you understand the best legal approach for navigating this type of complicated claim.
Hiring an Attorney May Benefit Your Claim
Recovering damages after a no-contact car crash is challenging under the best of circumstances. Having an experienced attorney on your side may give you a fighting chance for recovering compensation for your losses.
At Rizk Law, we are dedicated to holding at-fault parties responsible for their negligent actions. We have been representing injured victims in Portland and throughout Oregon for nearly 20 years. During that time, we have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Call or text our firm to get more information about how we may be able to help you in your situation. We offer a completely free initial consultation, and after this meeting, you can choose to walk away, so there is no risk to you.
If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we handle your case. We only get paid when you do.