Car accidents are terrifying and traumatic, especially when you or your loved ones are left with serious injuries. In states like Texas, it matters who caused an accident because the state’s comparative negligence insurance laws demand that the liable party pay for damages, typically through their insurance provider. But what happens when your accident was caused by another vehicle, leaving you with significant injuries and medical expenses, but there’s no trace of the other vehicle and no sign that a second driver was involved in the accident at all?
We’ve all heard of hit-and-run accidents, but those accidents at least leave clear evidence that another vehicle collided with your own and caused the crash. What happens in Texas when a car accident is a miss-and-run?
What is a Miss and Run Accident?
Like most drivers, you’ve probably experienced near misses, such as when a vehicle makes a lane change without checking a blind spot, forcing you to quickly swerve out of your own lane. But what if you’re in the right lane and another vehicle makes an unsafe lane change and your swerve to avoid a sideswipe collision causes you to drive off the road and into a ditch where your car flips and rolls? If the other driver doesn’t stop to help but keeps driving, you’re left with a miss-and-run accident where you have no evidence of the other vehicle’s part in your accident. Even worse, in some miss-and-run accidents, the other driver may not have even been aware that their negligent actions caused an accident behind them so there’s no chance of them coming forward to acknowledge their fault.
In a miss-and-run accident—sometimes called a phantom car accident—you may feel like you’re left holding the bag while you’re unable to return to work and the medical bills begin piling up.
You can learn more about what to do after a miss and run accident here.
Can a Driver Recover Damages After a Miss and Run Accident in Texas?
Just as in a hit-and-run where the other driver flees the scene, it can be challenging to prove liability to meet the Texas comparative negligence insurance requirements when the other driver cannot be identified. In a miss-and-run, the challenge is even greater, since there may be no overt evidence that a second vehicle played a role in the accident. So are you left with no legal recourse for compensation after a miss-and-run accident in Texas?
If you’ve experienced a miss-and-run, not only are you left to deal with the aftermath of the accident, but you may also find authorities questioning your story or believing you fabricated the existence of the other vehicle to blame a “phantom vehicle” for your crash. Fortunately, despite the greater difficulty of proving a miss-and-run accident, it is still possible to recover your damages with the help of an accident attorney with experience in navigating the challenge of proving a miss-and-run.
How Can a Texas Accident Attorney Help in a Miss and Run Accident?
There are some paths a victim of a miss-and-run can pursue to recover damages. An attorney with experience in this type of accident claim has resources, such as access to traffic and surveillance cameras as well as accident reconstruction experts who may be able to help prove your claim. Even if the second vehicle is never identified, your own insurance must pay out on your claim if your attorney can show compelling evidence of another vehicle’s role in your accident. A successful miss-and-run claim could help you recover the following damages:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
By successfully showing that you weren’t responsible for the accident, your insurance provider cannot hold you liable and must pay for your damages according to the terms of your policy.
A Texas accident attorney understands the frustration of miss-and-run accidents and can be your best ally in proving you weren’t responsible for an accident caused by a “phantom vehicle.”