Phantom Driver Accident

A phantom driver is like the hit and run driver, but without the hit. Usually, a phantom driver leaves the scene of an accident without even realizing that they caused one. In auto insurance, a phantom car is a car that causes damage, injury, or even death without making any physical contact. The police refer to the at-fault driver as the phantom driver when they caused an auto crash without touching the other vehicle.

Just like a hit-and-run accident, the driver at-fault leaves the scene of the accident. The difference is that there was no contact between the vehicles involved in the crash and the vehicle responsible for the collision. For instance, if you try to avoid hitting a car that merged into your lane, and due to your sudden maneuver, an accident occurs, the other vehicle is responsible for the accident. If that driver leaves the scene without being identified, then we have a phantom vehicle accident case.

If you were involved in a phantom car accident, you should seek help from a South Carolina auto accident attorney. It is best to consult a Greenville car accident lawyer and discuss your options as soon as possible.

It is unfortunate that the phantom vehicle accident victims are not covered by the uninsured motorist (UM) policy. Generally, in a hit-and-run case, the victims can claim compensation and recover their uninsured motorist coverage damages. Nevertheless, it is required to prove contact with the hit-and-run automobile. Otherwise, they cannot collect any uninsured motorist benefits.

“Contact” is a prerequisite for uninsured motorist insurance to apply. Therefore, the only damages the victim can claim compensation for are for vehicle repairing or substitution and medical costs for all the insured vehicle passengers.

Unfortunately, the phantom driver victim cannot claim compensation for loss of income, pain, suffering, or other apparent damages.

What Defines A Phantom Driver Accident?

Firstly, what usually happens is, another vehicle gets in your way, and you instantly react by maneuvering your car to avoid a collision. You unexpectedly swerve your vehicle to avoid the first driver, and you hit another vehicle or a pedestrian or end up in a single-vehicle accident.

The first driver, responsible for the accident, keeps on driving without stopping at the scene of the accident. They either continue driving because they want to avoid the consequences of their negligent actions or because they did not realize they caused a car accident.

Phantom drivers are often absentminded drivers that do not pay attention to their surroundings. On occasions, phantom drivers may be under the influence of substances or drive recklessly.

Examples Of Phantom Driver Accidents

A phantom driver collision may result from a driver changing lanes without noticing the other vehicles around them. The second car will react quickly to avoid them, and in their effort to do so, they crash with another car or motorcycle.

Another case could be a car pulling out in front of another vehicle, forcing them to swerve or hit the brakes quickly, causing an accident.

Is A Phantom Driver Legally Responsible For Injuries?

Even though the phantom driver leaves the scene without stopping, they are still legally responsible. If their irresponsible actions directly caused the auto accident, they are legally the at-fault driver. Consequently, they are liable for all damages and injuries that occurred in the accident. What needs to be done is gathering information identifying them, and filing a claim with their insurance company.

It will help if you try to identify a phantom driver by collecting information from the witnesses. They may have noticed the car’s license plates, or they may be able to describe the vehicle and the driver. There may be distinguishable details noticed about the phantom vehicle that will help to identify it. However, sometimes the phantom driver may return to the accident scene and admit fault.

What Should You Do After A Phantom Driver Accident?

In case you get involved in a phantom car accident, the first thing you should do is call the police and report it. If you are seriously injured, you should request medical care immediately. If not, there are some things you can do while waiting for the police to respond.

  • Take notes of all the details. Either write down or use your phone to record everything you remember about the accident and the other car.
  • Take photographs. It would be valuable if you manage to take a picture of the phantom vehicle while trying to leave the accident scene. Furthermore, you should take photos of your car damages and your injuries caused by the crash.
  • Talk to the witnesses and gather their contact information.
  • Call your insurance company and report the accident.

Need Legal Advice After A Phantom Driver Accident?

Phantom driver cases are usually complicated. You should ask for legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney and increase your chances of fully recovering your financial damages from your insurance company. Contact us at Brumback and Langley for your free consultation.