You drive along the highway with not a care in the world, and see an SUV ahead of you. Before you know it, the SUV changed lines and left you with not enough room to maneuver. To avoid the impending collision, you swerve suddenly off the road, hit a rock, and total your car.
This is exactly how you get involved in what is termed a no-contact accident. Your car didn’t touch the SUV, but yet the other driver caused you to total your own vehicle. In the confusion, you could have failed to notice his license plate, which means you cannot sue him. If you report this to your insurance company, they will only blame you and refuse to compensate.
According to Jacksonville personal injury lawyers who can be found on this outstanding website that has helped so many already, here is what you could do in such a tough situation:
The other driver
The negative side of this situation is that if you are unable to gather any information concerning the other offending vehicle, you cannot take the other driver to court. Fortunately, both the legal system and the insurance industry are used to such situations, which they refer to as an accident involving a phantom vehicle. As things stand, this is now an issue between you and your insurance company.
The insurance company
A phantom vehicle falls under what is termed the uninsured motorist coverage. This is something that most states insist all auto insurance policies must contain. Coverage in this instance depends on three standard questions:
- What does your own insurance policy say?
- Do you have corroborating witnesses?
- What are your state’s underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance requirements?
The “corroborating witness”
All these three questions are interrelated and are considered the most significant problem in any no-contact accident case. Most insurance policies insist that there should be corroborating evidence, or supporting evidence in the form of another witness for the victim of any no-contact accident to recover damages. This witness can be a passerby, another person who got involved in the same accident, or any another motorist who happened to view the accident. Your Jacksonville injury attorney will want to know who this person is.
Now that you are looking for a corroborating witness, you have to be wary about whom that witness is. Courts in some states that enforce this particular clause insist that this corroborating witness ought to be also an independent third party.
If the corroborating witness happened to be the spouse of the injured driver, any court would state that this witness is not sufficiently independent to qualify. In such states, if you are fortunate enough to have a friend, family member or colleague, who was with you when the accident occurred, that individual would be counted as an independent third-party witness. Your Jacksonville accident lawyer will be helping you along the way in gathering these witnesses.
What if you have no corroborating witness?
If you or your Jacksonville accident lawyer cannot find any corroborating witness, the laws of your state might come to your rescue. Most states insist that insurance companies include coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. Therefore, no victim of a no-contact car injury will be a loser due to another motorist’s irresponsibility.
Since this coverage remains a money loser for all insurance companies, they would follow only the minimum the requirements of law and nothing more, as any Jacksonville, Florida accident legal representative will tell you.
If you happened to be involved in a no-contact car accident, your insurance company might not come to your aid. To safeguard your legal rights and to ensure that you don’t bear the financial burden of the accident, your only recourse is to hire a high endurance Florida attorney immediately.