In the event of a no contact car accident in Sacramento, a negligent driver may be legally responsible even if they didn’t directly collide with another vehicle or property. If the actions of a negligent driver lead another driver to crash or cause damage, they can still be held accountable.
Whether or not there was physical contact, the victim actively attempted to avoid an accident caused by the negligent driver. Continue reading to discover more about no-contact car accidents in Sacramento and the steps to take when filing a claim if you find yourself involved in one.
What is a No Contact Car Accident?
A no-contact accident occurs when a vehicle gets into an accident caused by a negligent driver, even though there is no physical collision between the two cars. This usually happens when a driver attempts to avoid an accident due to a negligent driver’s actions, causing it to crash into another object or vehicle.
Examples of scenarios leading to no-contact accidents are the following:
- A vehicle runs another car off the road.
- One driver abruptly changes or merges lanes, cutting off another vehicle.
- A driver suddenly stops, leading the car behind to swerve to avoid a crash.
- A driver neglects to yield to a car with the right-of-way, resulting in the swerving of that vehicle.
While a negligent driver should always be held responsible for a crash, proving liability in a no-contact accident may be challenging because there is no direct contact between the two vehicles.
What Happens in a Noc Contact Auto Accident?
Unfortunately, most drivers who cause a no-contact car accident in Sacramento may not be aware that their actions led to the crash. In such circumstances, most drivers continue to head off without attending to the accident victims.
This is why individuals who cause no-contact accidents and drive off afterward are often called “phantom drivers.”
In most cases, phantom drivers commit traffic violations that prompt other drivers to avoid them, causing them to crash into another vehicle or object. Victims usually suffer physical injuries and property damage due to the crash.
A phantom driver typically commits the following offenses, which result in another vehicle’s accident:
- distracted driving,
- aggressive driving,
- driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and
- drowsy driving.
Who is at-fault in a No-Contact Car Accident in Sacramento?
Victims of crashes without contact usually ask, “Who is at fault in a no-contact car accident?” Generally, a negligent driver should be held responsible for a collision. Negligence is established through these four elements:
- The driver was responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety.
- They neglected this duty.
- The breach resulted in an accident.
- The crash caused injuries and other damage.
So, if another driver’s wrongdoings caused you to collide with another vehicle or property, they should be liable for the accident. However, proving the negligent party’s liability may be challenging since phantom drivers usually take off without realizing they caused a car accident in Sacramento or elsewhere.
Your best option is to hire a Sacramento car accident attorney who can examine the facts of your case and collect evidence to identify the at-fault driver.
You Are Partially Liable for the Crash
Bear in mind, it’s essential to demonstrate that the negligent driver’s actions were the exclusive cause of the accident. In this instance, you need to establish that there was no other suitable method to prevent the collision, and as a result, you had to take action, ultimately leading to your car accident.
However, if it is determined that there were other possible courses to take to avoid the crash without causing another one, but you made a decision that resulted in another driver’s injuries or property damage, you may be partly liable for the accident.
As long as you are not entirely at fault for the no-contact car accident in Sacramento, you may file a car accident claim against the negligent driver in California. For instance, you may receive 90% restitution if you are 10% responsible for the accident. This is because California applies pure comparative negligence to personal injury claims.
While it is possible to claim compensation regardless of how much you are liable for the accident’s damages, proving the phantom driver’s negligence may be challenging, especially if they didn’t make contact with you. This is why contacting a car accident lawyer who can gather sufficient evidence to prove the driver’s liability is essential.
Who Covers the Damages if Phantom Driver Causes the Auto Accident?
The at-fault driver’s insurance provider should cover the accident’s damages. However, if you can’t identify and locate the phantom driver, you may use your insurance policy to pay the damage expenses.
In such cases, you may use your uninsured motorist coverage to cover the following damage costs:
- Medical bills for you and your passenger from the accident,
- vehicle parts replacement, and
- other property damage expenses.
You may also use your MedPay or health insurance if you incurred injuries in the no-contact car accident in Sacramento.
How Can I Prove a No-Contact Car Crash in Sacramento?
Proving no-contact car accidents are typically more challenging than usual accidents with visible damages. However, there are several pieces of evidence you may use to justify the at-fault driver’s negligence, such as:
Obtaining witness testimony is vital for building a strong case. An eyewitness can provide a clear account of how the accident unfolded, helping establish the negligence of the phantom driver.
In certain instances, the witness may even help identify the driver by recalling details such as the vehicle’s license plate number, the driver’s physical appearance, or the type of vehicle involved in the car accident.
CCTV, DashCam, or Surveillance Footage
Videos depicting the accident can help prove the driver’s negligence. Look for closed-circuit television (CCTV) or surveillance footage from areas around the accident scene, and you can request a copy from the camera owner.
If you have a dash camera installed in your vehicle, you can also use that footage. It may reveal the phantom driver’s actions and the crash’s aftermath.
When determining the cause of an accident, responding officers collect essential details, often seeking statements from witnesses. This becomes particularly valuable if you cannot gather evidence due to injuries.
To obtain the necessary information:
- Contact the Sacramento Police Department or California Highway Patrol.
- Pay a $10 to $20 fee for the document.
- Provide specific details about your accident, such as the names of individuals involved, license plate numbers, the responding officer’s name, or the police report number.
If gathering evidence is physically challenging due to your injuries, consider contacting a Sacramento injury lawyer. They possess the expertise and resources to collect sufficient proof when presenting your claim.
What Damages Can I Include in My Compensations?
A no-contact car accident may result in minor to severe injuries and damages, depending on the impact of the crash. When calculating the total compensation for your accident, you may consider the following damages applicable to your case:
Economic Damages (financial losses)
- Medical bills
- Other health-related expenses, such as medical equipment or aid
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages
- Future loss of income
Non-Economic Damages (non-monetary losses)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of companionship or love
You may also contend for punitive damages if the negligent driver’s actions are extreme, malicious, or intentional. The court usually decides on additional costs if this happens.
While you may add all these damages, how will you be able to quantify non-economic damages? A Sacramento car accident attorney can maximize your payout by exhausting all possible damages applicable to your case, including non-monetary losses and punitive damages.
What To Do If You Are Involved in an Accident Without Contact with the Other Vehicle
If you find yourself in an accident without direct contact with another vehicle, follow these steps to prioritize your safety, prevent the situation from worsening, and take the necessary actions when considering legal recourse:
- Remain calm.
- Call 911 or the Sacramento Police Department to respond to the accident scene.
- Check if you sustained injuries in the car crash.
- Seek medical attention and contact the nearest hospital in Sacramento.
- Avoid sharing information that is unnecessary to your case.
- Collect evidence at the accident scene, such as photos of the damages and witness testimonies.
- Cooperate with the Sacramento police officers.
- Contact personal injury lawyers who can help build your car accident claim.
Who Can Help Me Win My No-Contact Accident Claim?
We understand the frustration and stress that come with a no-contact accident, especially when it’s challenging to identify the responsible phantom driver. In such situations, it’s crucial to engage a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case, collaborate with investigators to gather evidence, and establish liability.
Consider a scenario where you swerved to avoid a negligent driver, causing damage to someone else’s property, along with damages to your vehicle and others involved. Now, the other victim is holding you responsible for the collision.
Given that the phantom driver is unaware they caused the accident and drove away, the question arises: How can you secure compensation to cover the damages incurred?
A personal injury lawyer can do the following to help you successfully win your case:
- Examine the facts of your accident.
- Collect evidence to justify your claim.
- Use the evidence to identify and locate the driver.
- Prove liability.
- Calculate the total damage from the collision.
- Communicate with the insurance company.
- Defend your case at trial if necessary.
Jacoby & Meyers has the best car accident attorneys Sacramento can offer. We aggressively defend our clients’ cases while providing quality legal service and medical assistance to car accident victims in Sacramento. Contact us at 800-500-0000 for a free consultation and learn about your legal options today.
Other Blogs That Can Help:
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- Do I Need to go to Trial For A Truck Accident?
- Do I Need A Police Report When Filing for a Car Accident Claim?
- How To Take Photos in a Car Accident Scene
- How do I Include Lost Wages in my Personal Injury Claim?