What Do I Do if Someone Ran Me Off the Road?

By Peter DePaolis

Not all car accidents involve a collision between two vehicles. Some crashes take the form of no-contact accidents, in which one negligent or reckless driver causes another vehicle to crash without touching the second vehicle. A common example of this is one driver running another off the road. If a driver recently ran you off the road in D.C., Virginia or Maryland, you have rights. Protect them with help of an experienced Fairfax car accident lawyer, and take certain steps toward obtaining a financial compensation award.

Get The Compensation You Deserve!

Document Your Accident and Injuries

If someone ran you off the road, he or she may be liable for your damages. Most states obey fault-based insurance statutes. A fault-based system holds the party at fault for the car accident responsible for victims’ damages. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland all use fault-based insurance systems. If the driver takes off without giving you his or her information, however, it could make a lawsuit more difficult to pursue. The more information you collect about your crash, the better the odds are of the police identifying the at-fault driver.

Information to Collect

  • The date, time and location of the crash
  • A description of the other vehicle
  • The other driver’s license plate numbers
  • An account of events leading up to the crash
  • Eyewitness accounts of the accident
  • Photographs of your injuries and vehicle damages
  • Medical records documenting your injuries
  • Receipts from medical bills, auto repairs and other expenses

Keeping careful track of your experience in the aftermath of a car accident is important for your injury claim later – especially in a case involving a hit-and-run driver. Whether the at-fault driver did not realize he or she ran you off the road or intentionally fled the scene, the driver could be legally indebted to you for damages. Documenting your accident can help investigators identify the person who caused your losses. It can also strengthen an insurance claim.

Call the Police

If your no-contact car accident resulted in personal injuries, deaths or expensive property damage, the law requires you to call the cops and report the collision. Even in a more minor accident, it is a good idea to call the police when someone runs you off the road and takes off. The police can investigate the accident for evidence that may lead to identifying the other driver, such as video footage that captured the crash or an eyewitness who caught the license plate number. Calling the police improves the odds of identifying the person who caused your accident.

Contact an Insurance Company

If the at-fault driver remains at the scene, get his or her insurance information for your claim. The at-fault driver’s insurance provider will be responsible for repaying your medical costs and property damage expenses. You will seek recovery from your own auto insurer, however, if the at-fault driver does not remain at the scene or does not have insurance. Some states require uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, while others do not. Find out if you have coverage under this type of policy by calling your insurance provider.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Accidents in which a driver runs you off the road can be complicated. Proving fault may be difficult since the at-fault driver did not actually collide with your vehicle. If another driver causes the wreck and runs, an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim might be the only available outlet for recovery. You may need a lawyer’s assistance during insurance disputes or arguments regarding fault. A lawyer can also represent you during settlement debates or a personal injury lawsuit.

A no-contact accident does not mean you have zero rights to compensation. If another driver forced you off the road and into a tree, guardrail, barrier or steep decline, you may have grounds for an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit. Finding the at-fault driver and holding him or her accountable may take help from an attorney. Hire a lawyer to help you recover damages for your health care, vehicle repairs, lost wages, physical pain and emotional suffering.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.