Who is Liable If You Swerve From One Driver and Hit Another?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on June 30, 2020

. Updated on March 23, 2022


car crash with emergency vehicleYou may be a responsible driver, but sometimes accidents happen anyway. Who is liable if a driver suddenly swerves into your lane of traffic and you hit another car while trying to avoid a crash?

This is a tricky type of motor vehicle collision, because it may be difficult to prove who initiated the chain reaction that resulted in an accident.

Our attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak are well-versed in Indiana’s state laws and how they may apply in this situation.

If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle car crash caused by a negligent driver, we are prepared to help. Contact our firm 24/7 to arrange for your free consultation. We can discuss your legal options, and there is no obligation to hire our services.

What is an Indirect Accident or No-Contact Car Crash?

An indirect or no-contact car crash is one that happens when a distracted or impaired driver loses control of his or her vehicle and has a near-miss with another car. When this happens, the natural reaction is to try to get out of the way and avoid an accident. Unfortunately, because these situations happen quickly, there is not always an optimum location to move to, and the driver trying to avoid an accident may subsequently cause one. Meanwhile, the at-fault driver may often take off and leave you to take the blame.

Common No-Contact Car Crashes

These are just a few examples of how another car can trigger an accident without actually hitting any vehicles:

  • A speeding motorist skids on a wet surface and loses control of his or her vehicle
  • An intoxicated driver misjudges a lane change and cuts you off
  • A motorist falls asleep at the wheel and suddenly swerves into your lane of traffic
  • A driver runs a red light at an intersection and unexpectedly turns left in front of you

If the at-fault driver is pulled over or later located, he or she may share liability for the crash. Our South Bend car accident attorneys have the resources and staff to investigate your accident to help determine what happened.

What if The Accident Was Caused By Aggressive Driving Behavior?

There are a number of aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, aggressively tailgating and merging that can result in a serious car accident. Even if the at-fault party’s car does not actually hit your vehicle, he or she may still be held liable for the reckless actions that caused your car to crash.

Pursuing a Claim for an Accident Due to a Phantom Driver

In a personal injury lawsuit, you – or your attorney – must prove that there was a duty of care and that the other party breached that duty, such as driving responsibly to avoid causing an accident. If you are able to identify the driver and the accident directly caused your injuries and resulted in medical bills, lost wages and other damages, you may be able to pursue compensation against the at-fault party’s insurance company.

If the police pull the at-fault party over and ticket them for reckless driving, that citation may help to strengthen your claim. However, in a situation where the car drives away, your best hope is to attempt to get the color, make and model of the car, including a license plate number. Many times, unfortunately, the driver may take off before you can get that information. In those situations, your next best hope is that there is a traffic camera or an eyewitness who can provide some details about the other vehicle.

Using Your UM/UIM Insurance

If you are not able to locate the at-fault driver, your best chance for recovering compensation for your damages may be through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not have this coverage, we strongly recommend that you consider it as part of your overall auto insurance policy. In Indiana, this coverage is required, but may be rejected by the policyholder in writing when he or she purchases a car insurance policy. This type of coverage is invaluable, because it can protect you from having to front the costs for the damages in a situation where:

  • The driver has insufficient insurance
  • The at-fault driver has no insurance
  • You are unable to locate or identify the at-fault party who caused the accident

Contact a Trusted Lawyer For Help With Your Car Crash Claim

The legal team at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak welcomes the opportunity to provide you with the legal help that you need after a car accident. We understand you may be overwhelmed and unsure about what you should do after being injured in a car crash. Having an attorney on your side can help protect the value of your claim as you pursue maximum compensation for your damages.

The representatives at our firm are available to take your call and schedule your free consultation anytime, day or night. There is no obligation to file a claim, and there are no fees to pay while we represent you. We do not get paid unless you do.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak. Legal Help Today: (844) 678-1800

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

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