Can I Sue for a No-Contact Car Accident?
Not all motor vehicle accidents involve two vehicles physically hitting one another. Even so, the law can still hold one driver liable for another’s injuries. If the other vehicle is at fault for your injuries but did not actually hit your vehicle, this is referred to as a no-contact car accident. You could still collect compensation for any injuries and property damage you experience as a result.
No-Contact Car Accidents Happen Without Physical Contact
A car that causes an accident, but does not actually hit your vehicle, is no less responsible than one that physically strikes your vehicle. Yet, to hold the driver liable for their actions, you will need to be able to identify the driver and vehicle, then prove that they caused your accident. You can accomplish this through witness statements or video surveillance.
What if You Cannot Find or Identify the Other Driver?
In most no-contact accidents, victims are unable to identify the other driver or vehicle involved. If this is the case for you, uninsured motorist coverage from your own auto insurance policy would take over. Florida law requires you to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is used when drivers do not have auto insurance or when the other driver cannot be located, such as in a no-contact or hit-and-run accident.
The uninsured coverage part of your auto insurance plan will cover aspects like medical expenses and property damage. You will need to read the details of your own auto insurance policy for any special requirements when utilizing this coverage. For example, some insurers may require that you have a corroborating witness to use your coverage.
Missing Witness Issues
A no-contact car accident is difficult to prove, which is why some insurance policies will require a corroborating witness. The witness’s statements will prove whether the accident really occurred and if there was an unidentified vehicle that caused the accident. A corroborating witness can be someone who:
- Is involved in the accident
- Was passing by when it happened
- Had been observing the accident close by
Some policies may state that the corroborating witness must be an independent third party; if so, your own passengers may not be able to serve as witnesses.
If you do not have a corroborating witness, you may still be able to use your coverage. Because Florida requires no-fault insurance coverage, this limits you in the amount of compensation received from the policy. If your injuries or damages are severe, you will be unable to claim more unless your policy allows you to.
If you have any other auto accident-related questions, then contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110 to speak with a personal injury attorney today.
Updated January 10, 2022