I just settled a case where my client was almost struck by a truck while taking a walk in his neighborhood. As the truck approached, my client jumped out of the way injuring both his leg and hip while the truck drove away. This was a difficult case because there was no physical contact by any vehicle and the vehicle left the scene. In other words, it was what we call a "miss and run".
A miss and run is similar to a hit-and-run accident, only there is no physical contact between your body/car/bike and the unidentified at-fault vehicle.
Coverage and Miss and Runs
When you are involved in a miss-and-run the only insurance available for recovery for your damages or injuries is obviously your own. These miss and run accidents are normally covered by your Uninsured Motorist coverage, assuming you have such coverage.
In the past, insurance companies would require that the unidentified vehicle in a miss-and-run actually make contact with a person before they would extend Uninsured Motorist coverage. But in 1993 everything changed due to an Arizona case called Lowing v. Allstate. In this case a man was traveling along the highway with his three children when he noticed a car coming straight for him. The oncoming car was attempting to pass in a no passing zone. Lowing, the man traveling in his proper lane, swerved and crashed just off the shoulder of the highway, avoiding what could have been a much more catastrophic head-on collision. The vehicle attempting to pass in the no-passing zone kept on driving in the opposite direction and was never identified.
As was custom, the insurance company in this case denied Uninsured Motorist coverage because the unidentified vehicle never actually made contact with Lowing's car, but the Arizona Supreme Court disagreed. The Arizona Supreme Court effectively changed the law, eliminating the contact requirement. The in Arizona pertaining to Uninsured Motorist coverage now requires insurance companies to cover miss-and-runs regardless of physical contact.
What is required to make a Miss and Run claim?
If you or a family member make a miss and run claim, the main requirement is that you must provide independent corroborating evidence that the accident occurred as a result of an at-fault driver who was not able to be identified.
What is independent corroborating evidence? Corroborating evidence means any additional and confirming testimony, facts, or evidence that add weight and/or credibility to your representation of what happened. In other words, there needs to be some sort of proof that the accident happened the way you say it did.
For example, in the case I recently settled where my client jumped out of the way of an oncoming and swerving pickup truck, a friend who was with my client provided a sworn affidavit corroborating my client's story of what happened. My client's Uninsured Motorist insurer viewed the friend's sworn affidavit as sufficient corroborating evidence and paid full policy limits.
If you have been involved in a miss-and-run accident please call us for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultation.