Someone Ran Me off the Road – What do I do?
If you’ve ever been run off the road by another driver or have witnessed the aftermath of this type of accident, you already know how serious this sort of thing can be. A car that has been victimized in this way can easily find itself wrapped around a tree or upside down in a ditch. This type of mishap is all too common, and serious injuries often result.
A major concern has to do with the fact that with no one else on whom to pin the blame, most insurers will view this type of mishap as a single-car accident. Many times, the driver who caused your car to veer off the road will suffer no damage to his or her own vehicle and will simply keep on driving after the fact. Some will be unaware of the damage they have caused. Others may realize exactly what has happened and choose to leave the scene for just that reason. This is unfortunate, because unless you can identify the responsible motorist and get him or her to own up to the fact, insurers will assume the fault to rest upon your shoulders alone. If your car has damaged a third party’s property as a result, things will get especially hairy.
After you’ve been run off the road, you must do all you can to protect yourself from legal and financial liability. You must first notify law enforcement as soon as you can. An immediate call to 911 from the accident scene is essential. When law enforcement does arrive, try to impart every detail that you can remember. Valuable information will include the make, model, color and hopefully license plate of the offending vehicle as well as the appearance and approximate age of its driver.
Any witnesses that happened to view the accident could prove to be invaluable later, so try to get their contact information while they are still around. If you’re lucky, an eyewitness will not only be able to corroborate your account of the way in which things transpired but will also have been able to reveal a license number or impart other information that could help to identify the responsible individual. If you’re especially lucky, at least one witness will agree to speak with the police and testify on your behalf if needed.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Unless the other car came into actual contact with your vehicle, insurance carriers will almost always view your situation as a single-car mishap and therefore consider you to have been entirely at fault. The word of a witness can help you here. Otherwise, unless you can obtain the responsible party’s admission of guilt or are able to lay the blame at the feet of an animal or other extraneous impediment, you will be considered the one at fault. Regardless of how badly you may have been injured, being flagged as the responsible party will wreak havoc with any chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Remember, the fact that the responsible driver sustained no damage to himself or his vehicle does not lessen his or her guilt. Nevertheless, unless you can locate this individual or find a reliable witness to back you up, you can expect to find yourself accused of having committed such errors as:
– Driving too fast for conditions.
– Being under the influence.
– Succumbing to distractions.
To make matters worse, when drivers claim that their accidents occurred due to the negligence of a phantom driver, insurance companies often suspect fraud. For all these reasons and more, attempting to receive compensation after this type of mishap can be difficult. Due to the complexities involved, anyone who finds himself in this situation will benefit from the assistance of an attorney with extensive experience in investigating vehicular accidents.
Lloyd Baker Powerhouse Injury Attorneys routinely assists collision victims who’ve been run off the road. We will follow all leads, find and interview witnesses, view any available surveillance video, call in accident reconstruction experts and do whatever is needed to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If an insurance company fails to offer you an appropriate settlement, we will even take your case to court. To see what Lloyd Baker Powerhouse Injury Attorneys can do for you, call us today and schedule a free consultation.