Winter in Pennsylvania can be rather harsh as it causes quite a few difficulties for motorists when the roads are covered in snow or ice. Winter months are usually responsible for the uptick in no-contact accidents, but these accidents in which the vehicles never actually touch one another can occur at any time of year.
Most drivers who were hurt in no-contact accidents have a hard time seeking compensation for their injury and property damage because in many cases, the at-fault driver does not stop and continues driving or the other driver stops but refuses to admit fault.
If that’s the case, you should consult with a Pittsburgh no-contact accident attorney from SMT Legal before reporting the accident to your insurance company. In the former scenario, you need a lawyer to obtain some identifying information about the motorist who fled the scene. In the latter scenario, meanwhile, you need a lawyer to find convincing evidence proving the other driver’s negligence.
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Just because you were injured or your car was damaged in an accident where your car did not touch any other vehicle does not automatically make you at-fault for the accident. If you can prove that the other driver, whose vehicle did not touch yours, failed to exercise reasonable care or violated traffic rules, which caused your no-contact accident, you will be entitled to seek compensation from that driver.
With the help of an experienced no-contact accident attorney Pittsburgh, you should also be able to prove that your actions did not constitute negligence, carelessness, or recklessness and that you did not contribute to the accident in any way. If you did contribute to the no-contact accident to one degree or another, you will have to split the damages with the at-fault party.
Some of you might wonder, “Okay, that makes sense, but how do I prove that the other motorist was at fault for the no-contact accident if that driver fled the scene?” Clearly, you are dealing with a no-contact accident involving a phantom driver, or, in other words, a driver who cannot be identified or located.
If you could not memorize the other vehicle’s license plate number and your efforts to recall any identifying information have been futile so far, you may still be able to seek compensation through the uninsured motorist coverage offered by your own insurance company. This type of insurance coverage allows you to seek compensation for your medical expenses and property damage if the other driver is uninsured, underinsured or phantom.
Unfortunately, knowing who the other motorist is and having his or her insurance information is only half the battle. Even if you have a legitimate personal injury claim, your insurance company may still attempt to deny your claim or minimize the value of your claim. Insurers in Pennsylvania impose a higher burden of proof to demonstrate that you were not at-fault for your no-contact accident, which is why being legally represented by a Pittsburgh no-contact accident lawyer is always a good idea to collect sufficient evidence and ensure that your insurance company handles your claim fairly and unbiasedly.
After all, do not forget that insurance companies are businesses who make money by denying claims and paying their policyholders as little as possible. In addition to seeking legal help from a skilled car accident lawyer, the importance of witnesses in no-contact accidents is also paramount.