A car crash with “no contact” may sound like an oxymoron, but far too many drivers in Washington State have found out the hard way that “no contact collisions” are no laughing matter.
As the name implies, this type of accident happens when one car causes a second vehicle to have an accident without actually making contact with them. Our Washington auto accident attorney mentions that the absence of physical contact can make this type of accident difficult for drivers to report and presents challenges in obtaining fair compensation.
“No Contact” Washington Accident Examples
While it may be difficult to imagine how a car accident can occur without the two vehicles making contact, most drivers have experienced the kinds of conditions which often lead to a “no contact” collision. For example:
- A distracted driver too focused on their phone carelessly drifts into your lane, forcing you to swerve suddenly to avoid a crash.
- An aggressive driver cuts in front of you so they can make their exit at the last minute, forcing you to brake hard so you don’t run into them.
- An angry driver brake-checks your car, or pushes into your lane, forcing you to drive on the shoulder to dodge an accident.
- A novice driver fails to yield the right-of-way, turning in front of your car and forcing you to stop suddenly.
The Trouble with “No Contact” Accidents
The best defense against a “no contact” accident is to drive safely, eliminate distractions, and leave plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles. Frequently, these precautions provide you with enough time to react to any unexpected hazards.
However, even the most careful driver cannot predict the behavior of other drivers. When the reckless or careless behavior of one car causes another car to have an accident, the driver of that first car is considered at fault and should be held responsible for damage or injuries that result, even if their car did not physically contact another vehicle. Making that case, however, is an enormous challenge, and may require the support of a legal team.
For instance, say that a distracted driver drifts into your lane and forces you to swerve suddenly, but when you do, you collide with another vehicle in a parallel or on-coming lane. According to Washington State law, a distracted driver is considered partially (or totally) at fault for the accident, but they may be so distracted that they continue driving without realizing what they have done. An attorney can work with the police, insurance investigators, and on their own to gather evidence that may provide the identity of that at-fault driver.
Perhaps that aggressive driver who cut in front of your car forces you to brake hard, which causes the person driving behind you to collide with the back of your vehicle because they could not stop in time. Those same comparative negligence laws would say that the reckless behavior of that first driver was the primary cause, or a contributing factor, to that accident, and therefore that driver and their insurance company are responsible for providing compensation for the damages or injuries that result. If that driver flees the scene, however, an attorney and their staff can help file accident reports and negotiate with your insurance company, who may argue that without uninsured motorist insurance your vehicle damage or medical expenses are not covered.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident that you believe fits the description of a “no contact” collision, you need a top-rated legal team with years of experience winning full and fair compensation for drivers.