Close calls can still hurt.
Just because you managed to avoid being hit head-on by a drunk driver, doesn’t necessarily mean that you escaped injury. All too often, an innocent motorist might swerve to avoid what was sure to be a disastrous collision, but they still wreck their car – and they still get injured.
If this describes your accident, it’s important that you are aware that you may still be able to recover compensation against the negligent driver’s auto insurance.
Take for example the scenario of a cyclist riding their bike down a city street. Thanks only to their quick thinking and evasive action, they manage to avoid being hit by a sedan driven by someone who was reading emails on their iPhone instead of paying attention to the road ahead.
If the bicyclist had been hit by the car, then they would surely have suffered terrible injuries. Thankfully, they managed to get out of the distracted driver’s way, but in doing so they still lost control, crashed, and suffered injuries (although not quite as severe injuries as they might otherwise have been).
This is known as a “no contact” auto accident, and you can make a claim for damages such as your medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.
Physical contact is not necessarily a requirement of a successful personal injury claim. Another example of a no contact car crash where a claim is pursuable is the scenario of a loose dog running into the roadway. Rather than run over the animal, you swerve and hit a mailbox. Your car is totaled and you are injured. No other vehicles were involved in the collision, and the dog runs off, oblivious.
In this situation, you can make a claim against the dog owner’s home insurance. The dog owner was negligent for allowing their animal to run free and unleashed. You can make a claim against them because as a direct result of their negligence, you wrecked your vehicle.
The same applies when you are chased by a loose dog, tip, fall, and suffer injuries. Even though the dog never touched you, the same law that covers standard dog bite claims still applies.