Contactless accident: what is it and who will compensate for the damage?

According to the Research Center for Traffic Safety of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, in 2021, nine out of ten accidents occurred due to violations of traffic rules by drivers. However, for an accident, a collision of two cars is not necessary — the accident can be non-contact.

What to do if you got into an accident without a collision, how to find the culprit of the accident and whether it is possible to compensate for the damage in such a situation — in the material

What is a contactless accident?

The law does not contain the official concept of “contactless accident”.

On the road, situations are not uncommon when the driver is “cut off” and he, in order not to collide with other cars, has to urgently maneuver — as a result, it crashes into a fence or flies into a ditch.

Such an accident is called non-contact because in fact there is an accident, and there was no contact between the cars.

How to find the culprit of a contactless accident?

Almost always the most difficult thing in a non-contact accident — prove that someone else was at fault for the accident. The perpetrators most often flee the scene and do not consider themselves responsible for the accident at all, so it is important to find out the number and make of the car. Subsequently, according to the data of the car, the traffic police will be able to establish the owner and the one who was driving in order to bring the perpetrator to administrative responsibility.

To find the car's data, you can:

  • Use the record DVR.

On the record, you can not only see the number and make of the car responsible for the accident, but also use it to establish the details of the accident.

  • Find witnesses.

Waiting for traffic police officers it is possible to find eyewitnesses of the accident and take their contact details. Witnesses can be both pedestrians and other drivers. It is highly likely that the incident was caught on the video recorders of motorists from neighboring cars or on the mobile phone cameras of passers-by. 

The search for witnesses can also be organized after the accident has been registered, for example, by writing about the incident on the social networks of urban communities or placing an ad in local media.

  • Find videos from city or private surveillance cameras.
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    Location of city cameras can be found on the webcam map of Russia:

    Moscow maintains registers of yard and access video surveillance cameras and a register of video surveillance cameras in crowded places. You can view the addresses at which the cameras are installed on the open data portal of the Government of Moscow: in the “Reference Information” section.

    Video from city surveillance cameras in Moscow can be get like this:

    1. Call the hotline of the city video surveillance system.

    2. Determine with the operator the cameras closest to the accident site.

    3. Ask to save the entry in the archive.

    4. Inform the record number to traffic police officers who will be able to receive it on electronic media.

    If there is a shop or other private facility equipped with a CCTV camera near the accident site, you can try to get a recording from them. Entrepreneurs are not required to provide such recordings to citizens, but often meet halfway: they watch the video for the presence of the moment of the accident and allow them to make a copy. If the owner refuses to provide a record, you can try to get it through an official request from the traffic police. To do this, you need to write an application to the inspector to request a video indicating information about the surveillance camera.

    How to find out the insurance company of the culprit? 

    You can find out the number of the insurance policy and the name of the insurance company of the culprit of an accident for free on the website of the Russian Union of Motor Insurers (RSA): 

    On the main page, you need to select the option “Checking OSAGO policies”, then select the search by vehicle details; then — after entering the car number — click “Search”. Search results show: 

    • details of the OSAGO policy;
    • name of the insurance company;
    • is the policy valid;
    • how many persons are allowed to drive the car;
    • information about the owner car (full name and patronymic, first letter of surname and date of birth);
    • region of use of the car.

    Why find out the insurance company of the culprit? 

    < p>According to the OSAGO Law (Federal Law No. 40-FZ of April 25, 2002), in the event of an accident, the victim must contact his insurance company if the accident occurred as a result of the direct interaction of cars and caused damage to them.

    However, in the case of a contactless accident, everything is different — the victim must file a claim for damages against the insurance company responsible for the accident. This is due to the fact that there was no direct contact between the vehicles and, as a result, damage is often caused not only to vehicles, but also, for example, infrastructure facilities — fences, lampposts, etc.

    If the victim contacts his insurance company, he will be reasonably denied the payment of insurance compensation.

    How to receive compensation from the insurance company? < /h2>

    To receive a payout, you need to go through several stages: 

    1. Once the culprit is known, the victim should contact the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident and report the accident.

    2. Within five days it is necessary to submit to the insurance documents on the accident: an application for insurance compensation; a copy of the passport of the victim, the PTS and STS of the car, the appraiser's report (if an independent assessment of the damage was carried out), documents drawn up by the traffic police officers (protocol, decision on an administrative offense), bank details for transferring the payment.

    3. Within five days from the date of submission of documents, the victim must provide the car to the insurer for inspection.

    4. Within five days, the insurance company inspects the car and evaluates the cost of restoration repairs. If the victim does not agree with the assessment, he can write an application for an independent examination or apply to the court with an application to establish the cost of restoration repairs and collect insurance compensation.

    5. Within 20 days after agreeing on the cost of restoring repairs, the insurance company offers the victim a service station (SRT) for repairs. If the driver agrees, the insurer pays for car repairs.

    6. Within 30 working days from the date of providing the car for repair, the service station must perform repair work in accordance with the work order from the insurance company.

    It is important that since 2017, cash payments for OSAGO are made only in specific cases — as a general rule, repairs are made at the expense of the insurance company.

    Money can be received if: 

    • the victim agrees with the insurance company;
    • the car is beyond repair;
    • repair costs more than 400,000 rubles;
    • repair cannot be completed in 30 days (repair has not been started for a long time or it is delayed);
    • < li>the victim died, and the relatives do not want to repair the car;

    •  the victim suffered moderate or severe harm in an accident and chose a payment;
    • the victim has a disability and a special car;< /li>
    • the amount insured is not enough to pay for the repair;
    • mutual liability is established;
    • the victim refused to repair the warranty car in a car service that does not have an agreement with the manufacturer.

    Is it possible to receive damages if the culprit of the accident has not been found?

    No. If the culprit of the accident could not be found, you will have to make repairs at your own expense. The only option in which repairs are possible at the expense of the insurance company, — the victim has a CASCO policy. Unlike OSAGO, in order to receive a CASCO payment, it does not matter who is to blame for the damage to the car and in what circumstances they were received. Specific reimbursement conditions differ depending on the insurance company.

    Another exception — causing harm to the life or health of the victim. In this case, if the culprit of the accident is not found, the compensation payment must be made by the PCA. The amount of the payment depends on when the OSAGO policy of the culprit of the accident was issued and whether it was at all. The amounts vary from 120,000 to 500,000 rubles.

    Is it possible to claim damages if both drivers are to blame for the accident?

    Yes, you can. If one of the drivers interfered with traffic, but the second participant in the accident was driving at a speed higher than allowed, both will be to blame. 

    If the traffic police and the court find that both motorists are to blame for the accident, then compensation for damage will be distributed in proportion to their fault, lawyer Angelina Malysheva commented to “Let's imagine that the fault of the victim in an accident is set by the court at 60%, and the fault of the second driver, respectively, 40%. The amount of damage, according to the insurance company, amounted to 50,000 rubles. In this case, the victim can only claim 40% of the 50,000 — for 20,000 rubles, — noted the expert.

    The traffic police in the decision can only indicate whether one driver is guilty of an accident or both. Specifically, only a court can assign guilt within the framework of a civil process. To do this, one of the participants in the accident must apply to the court with a claim to establish guilt in an accident.

    Is it possible to recover damages if the culprit does not have an OSAGO policy? 

    Yes, you can. In this case, the damage must be recovered not from the insurance company (since the civil liability of the second driver was not insured), but directly from the person responsible for the accident. This can be done either out of court or through the court.

    To do this, you need: 

    • register an accident;
    • contact an expert for an assessment damage and the cost of their elimination and notify the perpetrator of the place and time of the assessment;
    • send the perpetrator a pre-trial claim, attaching documents from the traffic police and the appraiser's report, demanding compensation for damage, assessment costs and other expenses (for example, for a tow truck );
    • set a deadline for voluntary payment in the claim.

    If the perpetrator ignores the requirements or openly refuses to pay, you need to go to court with a claim for compensation for damage caused car accident. In addition to compensation for damage, it is possible to recover in court the costs of an assessment, calling a tow truck, the services of a lawyer for drafting a claim and accompanying it in court, and sending documents by mail.

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