When most people think of a car accident, they picture a collision between two vehicles. However, sometimes a crash can happen without one vehicle touching another. These are known as no-contact car accidents, in which only one vehicle or driver is damaged or injured.
Filing an insurance claim for damages in these cases can be challenging since the other driver may not stop or even realize they caused an accident. If you have been the victim of a no-contact car accident, we recommend consulting with an experienced lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Our Oshkosh auto accident attorneys further explain these types of accidents and how to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages. See how we may be able to help by scheduling a free legal consultation. You are not obligated to retain our services after meeting with us.
What is a No-Contact Car Accident?
A no-contact car accident can happen 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 he or she is still responsible for you getting into an accident. Some examples of no-contact car accidents include:
- A driver stops abruptly in front of you, causing you to swerve to avoid hitting them
- A driver fails to yield the right-of-way, causing you to swerve and crash
- A driver cuts you off and causes you to crash
- A driver runs you off the road
- A vehicle swerves into your lane
Proving Liability in These Cases
Legally, you are eligible to seek financial recovery for your injuries and other damages if a car accident was not your fault. However, many of these no-contact car accidents are deemed single car accidents by insurance companies, which often means that the victim is deemed liable for the crash.
This can be incredibly frustrating for accident victims when someone else is to blame. You and your attorney would need to be able to prove that the other driver acted in a negligent manner and that carelessness led to the accident that resulted in you being harmed.
The difficulty with these cases is that the at-fault driver usually does not stop. In some instances, the at-fault driver may not even be aware that he or she caused an accident. This individual is considered a phantom driver because he or she is present one moment and gone the next.
A phantom driver is problematic because in order to file a claim against him or her, you need some identifying information. If the at-fault driver who caused the crash continues driving, it will be even harder to determine who is at fault and get compensated for damages.
The Importance of Witnesses in No-Contact Car Accidents
Witnesses could be instrumental in no-contact car accidents. The best witnesses are other drivers or pedestrians not involved in the crash. He or she may have seen what the other driver looked like, caught the car’s license plate or be able to describe unique details of the car.
Having a witness that could support your version of events could put you in a better position to sue for damages. Without a witness, the insurance company will be less likely to believe that the crash was caused by someone else and not you.
What if the At Fault Driver is Not Identified and There Are No Witnesses?
If you are unable to identify the other driver, you would need to turn to uninsured motorist coverage through your own car insurance to help cover expenses to you and/or your car. In Wisconsin, all drivers must carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage.
However, under state law, other requirements must be met for the insurance company to provide coverage for this type of claim. You must report the accident to the police within a 72-hour period and someone other than you must corroborate your claims that a phantom driver caused the no-contact car accident. Without a witness, the accident will be considered a single car accident. You must also file a statement detailing certain facts with your insurer under oath within 30 days from the date of the crash.
Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Lawyer
If you have been involved in a no-contact car accident, reach out to an experienced lawyer at Sigman Janssen today. We know how insurance companies think and how car accident damages are calculated. We have helped many accident victims over the years obtain the financial recovery they need.
Learn more about your legal rights and your eligibility for compensation in a risk-free, no-obligation consultation. There is nothing owed up front in legal fees unless we help you obtain a recovery.
Call us anytime at (877) 888-5201.