The Dangers of a Miss and Run
In a miss-and-run accident, there is no contact between the vehicle that causes the crash and the injured party’s vehicle, and there is no way to identify the at-fault driver. It is very similar to a hit-and run-accident, when the at-fault driver leaves the scene. The main difference is the lack of contact between the two vehicles.
For example, a driver performing an improper lane change could cut you off, forcing you to swerve to avoid hitting that vehicle. While that driver continues on his way, your swerve, made necessary by the other driver’s actions, could result in a collision with another vehicle. By the time the police arrive, the “phantom driver” who caused the accident is long gone, and there is no way to file a claim against that driver’s insurance company.
What Makes Miss-and-Run Accident Cases More Difficult?
It is not impossible to recover compensation in a miss-and-run accident, but your claim may be more difficult to prove. If there was no contact between your vehicle and the one that caused the crash, and the at-fault driver left the scene, there will be no “paint swapped” or other physical evidence of responsibility, and no driver contact and insurance information for the purpose of filing a claim. Insurance companies may be suspicious in miss-and-run accident cases.
How Can You Recover Compensation After a Miss-and-Run Accident?
Reckless drivers can cause serious accidents and injuries. Even if the at-fault driver leaves the scene, you may be able to recover compensation for a miss-and-run accident through your own auto insurance company. If you can show the crash was actually caused by another driver who did not remain at the accident scene, it may be covered, the same as a hit-and-run accident, under your uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance can help cover your lost wages, future medical expenses, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
How Do You Prove You Were the Victim of a Phantom Driver?
Eyewitness testimony as to how the accident occurred can be vital evidence in your case, when the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident. If you are unable to locate any eyewitnesses, other evidence can be used to support your claim, such as footage from cameras in the area or tire marks on the pavement. The sooner your accident is investigated, the better it can be for your case.
What Steps Should You Take After a Miss-and-Run Crash?
- If you have been involved in an accident caused by a phantom driver, the first thing to do is get out of traffic to a safe place.
- If you are physically able, the next step is to seek out any eyewitnesses to the crash. If you locate witnesses, get their contact information.
- Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene.
- Call the police or file a report.
- Exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Miss-and-Run Accident?
Your best chance of recovering full and fair compensation is to have an experienced car accident lawyer representing you. Our Grand Junction personal injury attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC, are successful trial lawyers with more than 20 years of experience. We focus our PI practice on auto accident cases and have won millions for our clients. We offer a free initial consultation. If you have been involved in a miss-and-run accident, call us today at (970) 243-4357.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.