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What Is a Miss-and-Run Accident?

Published on Feb 27, 2024 at 8:58 pm in Car Accident.

What is a Miss-and-Run Accident

You might have heard about a hit-and-run accident, but what about a miss-and-run?

It might sound like a good outcome, but it is not. A miss-and-run accident can cause just as much damage as any other type of collision. However, in these cases, finding the driver responsible for the incident could be difficult.

Find out how these accidents occur and how you can avoid them.  

How Do Miss-and-Run Accidents Occur? 

When a driver’s action causes another vehicle to crash, and the initial vehicle does not make contact, that is known as a miss-and-run accident. These crashes are often attributed to “phantom drivers,” but the injuries and damages are very real to those affected.  

Unfortunately, the responsible driver doesn’t receive any type of punishment because they have left the scene. Sometimes, the driver did not know they caused an accident, while other times, they saw the result of their actions and fled.  

Often, these accidents occur due to another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior. While they don’t make contact (unlike a hit and run), they still create a scenario that results in a crash. A few ways that miss-and-run accident occurs include: 

Abrupt Lane Changes 

A driver might change lanes suddenly without signaling. As a result, the other driver swerves or brakes to avoid a collision. Often, this leads to an accident with another vehicle or roadside object. 

Sudden Stops 

If a driver brakes suddenly without an apparent reason, the driver behind might have to react quickly to avoid a collision. Sometimes, this results in a rear-end collision with another vehicle or a single-car accident if the driver swerves off the road.

Failure to Yield 

A driver might fail to yield the right of way at an intersection or when merging onto a highway. Once again, other drivers must take evasive action that results in an accident. 

High Speeds 

A driver traveling at high speeds might make sudden moves that are hard for other drivers to anticipate, leading to accidents. 

In all these scenarios, the instigating driver drives away from the scene, leaving the victims of the accident behind. 

The Consequences of Crashes Like These 

Like any accident, the aftermath of these instances can be physically and emotionally challenging for the victims. The driver and passengers can often suffer from injuries ranging from minor cuts to serious spinal injuries.  

Along with that, the emotional trauma can also be devastating as well. Some individuals may experience shock, anger, or even anxiety after an accident.  

Often, in these cases, there is significant expert damage. Sometimes, the vehicle cannot be repaired, leaving the accident victim without transportation and mounting repair bills.  

The absence of the responsible party makes these collisions even more heartbreaking. Without them, the victim may have to bear the financial burden of medical bills and vehicle repairs by themselves. For those without comprehensive insurance coverage, it can lead to a major financial hurdle.  

Finding the Responsible Party 

With traditional accidents, paint transfers, dents, or scratches on the vehicles can help identify the responsible party. However, the vehicles don’t make contact; there is no physical evidence left behind. 

Witnesses can play a role in these cases. However, their accounts can be unreliable due to the quick nature of the accident. If there were poor lighting conditions or heavy traffic, it could be difficult to post an instigating driver on the road. Even if they did notice, remembering and describing the vehicle can be difficult. 

If a witness can describe the vehicle or driver, locating them can be like finding a needle in a haystack without more specific information, such as a license plate number. 

Are There Any Viable Solutions? 

Fortunately, technology can assist in these cases. Dash cams can capture video evidence of the incident, including the license plate of the instigating vehicle. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, often help prevent accidents caused by sudden, unexpected maneuvers of other vehicles. 

Defensive driving is another way to prevent becoming a victim in these incidents. When you pay attention to other drivers, you can: 

  • Prepare for sudden lane changes, abrupt stops, and other unexpected maneuvers.
  • Maintain a safe distance so you can react to sudden changes.
  • Keep to the speed limit.
  • Scan the environment, check mirrors, and be aware of blind spots.
  • Adhere to traffic rules, signals, and road signs.
  • Remain calm under pressure.

From the legal side, these wrecks fall into a gray area. Since the responsible vehicle didn’t make contact, it’s hard to prove their involvement. However, if they are identified, the driver could face charges similar to those in a hit-and-run accident. 

What Happens If You Are Involved in a Miss and Run? 

Car accidents can be a challenge for anyone. However, if you’ve experienced a personal injury in Baton Rouge, Bianca | Matkins can help. We have spent years helping accident victims and their families get the compensation that they deserve.

Give us a call today so we can get started on your case. 

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