You might call it a hit-and-run without the hit. People generally think of a hit-and-run accident as one in which one car strikes another and subsequently flees the scene in an attempt to dodge their responsibility.
But there are hit-and-runs in which no contact is made between the vehicles and that's exactly what happened at about 10:22 p.m. April 19 on a stretch of U.S. Highway 90 near Iberia Parish.
A black 2006 Mercedes-Benz was driving eastbound when an unidentified vehicle suddenly swerved into its lane. The driver of the Mercedes, attempting to dodge the encroaching car, steered to the left and, in doing so, ended up traveling along the median and eventually striking a culvert.
The impact flipped the Mercedes over and caused the car to catch on fire. The driver was unable to escape the overturned vehicle. Authorities pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
Louisiana police are conducting an investigation and were able to determine the identity of the driver of the Mercedes, but are still looking for leads in identifying the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash.
Hit-and-runs are legally very tricky. Sometimes, police can find the guilty parties and prosecute them, but that is not always the case, and insurance companies are often reticent to provide compensation to victims in phantom driver cases.
If you find yourself involved in a hit-and-run, the first thing you need to do is file a police report and give them every detail about the accident. The second call you should make is to a qualified attorney who may be able to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
katc.com, "Non Contact hit and run causes a fatality," Cecilia Stevenson, April 20, 2014