No-contact car accidents are accidents where the at-fault driver’s vehicle never touches yours. The other driver’s actions caused you to crash into another vehicle or object. Sometimes the at-fault driver is unaware of the result of his or her actions and he or she simply drives away.
Crash victims already have many questions about what to do and how to recover full compensation for their losses. Not having the name, contact information, or insurance information for the at-fault driver could only complicate things further. Even though Pennsylvania drivers can purchase no-fault insurance, it is important to be able to find the at-fault driver.
Schmidt Kramer’s licensed attorneys have vast experience with car crash compensation claims. No matter how your crash occurred, you can give us a call for answers to your questions. The initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action.
Our auto accident lawyers in Harrisburg have helped many crash victims recover compensation for their damages. For more than three decades, we have been serving the injured in Pennsylvania.
What are some Examples of No-Contact Crashes?
There are many ways another driver could cause you to get into a crash without hitting the at-fault driver’s car. No-contact crashes are common when cars are merging. If a driver cuts over quickly without signaling, you may need to swerve to avoid a collision. This could result in you crashing into another vehicle or even going off the road and hitting a tree, road sign or guardrail.
No-contact crashes could also occur in a traffic jam when one car slams on its brakes suddenly. If you avoid hitting this car’s bumper, you may get rear-ended by someone behind you. The lead car may bear some amount of fault for what happened.
Essentially, a no-contact crash occurs when one driver puts another into a situation where a crash is unavoidable or at least much more likely.
The at-fault driver may realize what happened and stop to help. However, often the at-fault driver is unaware of the chain reaction caused by his or her negligence. Drivers who leave the scene without realizing what happened are sometimes referred to as phantom drivers.
Pursuing Compensation After a No-Contact Crash
One of the advantages of car insurance in Pennsylvania is you can buy no-fault coverage, which includes personal injury protection (PIP). This coverage pays for medical bills no matter who was at fault.
That said, if you suffered serious injuries in the crash, your PIP coverage may run out before it covers all your medical bills. When this happens, crash victims generally file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
What if the At-Fault Driver Fled the Scene?
That is why it pays to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, particularly if you chose not to purchase no-fault insurance coverage. (With at-fault insurance coverage, you must pursue a claim against the at-fault driver first.)
However, if you do not have no-fault coverage, or your PIP coverage runs out, you may be able to file a claim against your underinsured motorist coverage to cover the difference. Uninsured motorist coverage is often used after a hit-and-run accident.
What About Vehicle Damage?
PIP does not apply to vehicle damage. Generally, crash victims file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to cover these damages. However, if the at-fault driver cannot be located, you may be able to file a claim against your collision coverage, if you purchased it. Many people end up with this coverage because it is required by the lender/bank they used to finance their vehicle.
Is it Possible to Find the At-Fault Driver?
Sometimes it is possible, but usually only if the victim catches the license plate number and calls the police right away. That is why it is important to try to catch the license plate number before the vehicle fades out of view. It can also be helpful to note identifying information about the driver and relay that information to the police.
It is possible the other driver involved in the crash saw the vehicle, so you should ask if he or she saw the license plate number and/or the driver. He or she may also have a claim against the at-fault driver who left the scene.
Need Assistance After a Car Accident? Schmidt Kramer is Here to Help
We have helped resolve countless auto accident claims and recovered millions on behalf of our clients. This includes a $2.2 million verdict for a man who was killed in a crash on Interstate 78.
We know there is much uncertainty after a crash, particularly about paying for medical treatment. Our firm operates on contingency, so there are no upfront fees for our services. We are not paid unless you get paid.
Local. Licensed. Lawyers. Call Schmidt Kramer today: (717) 888-8888