Run Off the Road, Right into a Claim
Picture this: you’re travelling down a road on your commute to work and as you approach an intersection the light turns yellow. You begin to slow down, but a glance in the rearview mirror tells you that the driver behind you is not slowing down, or switching lanes — you swerve off the road to avoid being smashed from behind.
The worst part? That driver who caused your accident doesn’t even realize what happened. He or she may have been fiddling with the radio knob, or making sure the kids in the backseat are buckled up. The car zooms through the intersection, and you’re left in a ditch with a damaged vehicle and possible injuries. Now what?
Car accident claims are complicated enough when the two drivers are on the scene. In a case where a driver is run off the road, the at-fault driver often doesn’t stay on the scene long enough to determine who they are, or exactly what caused the accident. These accidents are especially frustrating because, in some cases, there are few ways to prove someone else is at fault.
Knowing who ran you off the road is a start but that’s not all: they need to admit that they caused the accident. Such as the situation described above, the driver may not know that they ran you in to a ditch so — even if you could somehow get in contact with them — they could deny being the cause.
This brings us to another point: in an accident where one car is run off the road, there is often no actual contact with the other car. This means there is no physical proof that you were forced off the road by another vehicle. That is, unless, there was an eyewitness.
According to a helpful article from About.com, an eye witness can be crucial in an accident like this: “an eyewitness will cut down on the ‘he said, she said,’ circumstances…[and] could also potentially get the license plate number of someone leaving the scene.”
If you are run off the road by another vehicle, look out for a person who saw the whole thing happen and can verify your story. Ask them to contribute to the police report and insurance claim, and obtain their contact information if possible.
If you are injured in such a car accident, the at-fault driver could be held liable. But, a major factor in your ability to pursue an injury claim is whether or not the person admits to causing the accident. Again, an eyewitness could play a huge role here.
Having a legal advocate is also advisable. An experienced car accident attorney will know what steps to take to ensure you receive compensation for injury and damage.
If another driver has run you off the road, the key thing to do is act quickly. Get a thorough police report, contact eyewitnesses, and consider contacting a lawyer.