If you have been driven off the road by an aggressive driver or a driver who was simply not paying attention, you could be facing damages not knowing what to do. You are entitled to claiming both property and personal injury damages.
The key is to knowing what to pursue and how to do it.
We reached out to attorney Alaina Sullivan, about this situation. Here is what she had to say about getting run off the road:
What Can You Do If Someone Drives You Off the Road?
If another motorist drives you off the road, the first thing you’ll want to do is get as far as you can on the side of the road so you’re safe and not impeding traffic. If you’re forced off the road, you may be able to file a claim with the help of an attorney. You should take photos of your vehicle to document any damage from the crash. If the other driver stopped, you can exchange insurance information. If someone else drives you off the road and didn’t stop, call 9-11 and report a hit and run.
If someone drives you off the road, you may have difficulty even finding the other driver, let alone filing a personal injury claim against him. This is why working with a personal injury lawyer is so important.
Charges for Running Someone off the Road
States have different laws that outline the charges for running someone off the road. If you have been run off the road by an aggressive or reckless driver, the driver could be facing a charge of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. Your PI attorney may be able to let you know what charges to bring against the driver who ran you off the road.
Whatever the action taken by law officers, you may also be entitled to claim both property and personal injury damages. The key is to knowing what to pursue and how to do it.
If somebody ran you off the road, he or she may be liable for any damages caused if an accident and injury took place. Most states have fault-based laws, which mean the party at fault for a vehicle accident is responsible for paying the victim damages.
The damages are payable by the driver’s insurer or by the driver directly as long as proof can be provided of fault. Even if there was no contact between your vehicle and the other vehicle that ran you off the road, the fact that the driver’s actions forced you off the road could be regarded as an act of negligence.
You have the right to claim damages as long as you can prove what happened through evidence from eye witnesses, video footage etc. If police lay charges against the driver, this may help you with a personal injury claim against the driver.
Collecting from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not going to just hand you the money for your claim. You will need to show that their insured driver’s negligence was the direct cause for the accident.
If the other driver admits fault, that may be easier to prove. However, if the other driver disputes that he or she is at fault, you will need those key eye witnesses or police reports to prove your case.
Otherwise, you may be forced to file a claim with your own insurance company for car repairs or medical claims.
It is highly likely that you are walking away from this accident with some significant damage to your vehicle. Running off the road could:
- Push you into a guard rail
- Cause you to hit a barrier or other object on the side of the road
- Cause your far to fall down a decline
- Cause damage to the underside of your car
Were you Injured?
If you were injured in any way by being pushed off the road by another driver, you can seek compensation for your injuries. However, it depends on the situation you face.
If the at-fault driver disputes that he or she is at fault, you will need a police report and/or an eye witness account of what occurred to back your claim that the other person was to blame for the accident.
Police officers are trained at recreating the events that led up to an accident, and their reports may be able to assist in proving your case. You will need someone other than yourself to back up your story, as well, so get the names and contact information of any witnesses present at the time of the accident.
Single Car Accident
It may not seem fair, but most insurance companies consider accidents where two vehicles do not make direct contact single car accidents. This means you will automatically be considered at-fault when making your claim.
If you have someone openly admitting guilt or an eye witness backing up your story, your insurance company may be more willing to work with you in terms of a claim.
However, even if you do have admission of guilt, some insurance plans require that you be charged with an at-fault claim due to the fact there was no actual contact between the vehicles.
What were you supposed to do? It is a tough situation, and you must react in the blink of an eye. When you are in the situation, you are more concerned for your safety than an insurance claim.
Many insurance companies will say you should let the other car hit you rather than swerve. That way a collision occurs.
However, that opens the door to much more serious injuries as well as a more serious accident.
Contact an Attorney Today
Getting driven off the road can be a difficult experience, and it can be hard to tell what your options are after your accident. If you've been injured due to someone else's negligent driving, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney. They can help you through your case and give you the representation that you deserve.