A car accident, for most people, brings to mind a collision involving two vehicles. However, at times, accidents are more complex than that. For instance, a victim of a hit and run accident has scanty details on the person who hit them. Such a situation can complicate the process of applying for an insurance claim for damages. Moreover, if the collision was from what’s is otherwise called a “phantom driver”, it can be more difficult to identify who is responsible and receive damages as compensation.
Phantom drivers create unique problems after an accident has occurred. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to navigate these problems and the appropriate course of action to take when a phantom driver hits you. If you have been involved in a phantom driver accident, our car accident lawyers can assist you in the legal process that follows the accident.
What happens in a Phantom Driver Accident?
A phantom driver is a driver responsible for causing an accident although they never hit another vehicle. “Phantom” implies that they were present for a short while and then got away.
In some cases, a phantom driver may be unaware that they caused an accident, so they go ahead driving. Because the driver did not stop, it is difficult to identify them. Accidents occurring as a result of the actions of phantom drivers are considered as hit and run accidents, but the correct term should be “miss and run”.
Some Examples of Accidents Caused By Phantom Drivers
A common mistake is when a phantom driver drifts out of their lane into another one that has a vehicle on it. To avoid hitting the phantom driver, the second driver swerves away suddenly. Unfortunately, this leads to a collision with a third vehicle (or biker, pedestrian, etc.) or a single-car accident where the second car crashes after running off the road.
Another situation could be a car pulling out in front of a second car, causing the driver to apply emergency brakes or swerve suddenly, leading into an accident.
Simply, all phantom driver accidents have the following characteristics:
- A driver obstructs the path of a second car, requiring the second driver to swerve or take another urgent action to prevent a collision.
- Since the second driver acted suddenly to avoid an accident with the first driver, they end up in an accident by bumping into another vehicle, hitting a pedestrian or cyclists or crashing in a single-car accident.
- The phantom driver, the first driver who caused the accident, continues driving either to escape the consequences of his wrongdoing or because they are completely oblivious of the accident they just caused.
Normally, a phantom driver is preoccupied with other things. They are not concentrated on their surroundings, this explains why they did not notice the other car in the first place. Also, a phantom driver can be drunk or engaged in careless behavior.
Does the Phantom Driver Incur Liability for Damages?
Regardless of whether the phantom driver stops, they are legally responsible for the accident if their actions triggered it. This implies that they are liable for all damages and injuries arising from the accident. The issue is that you require some degree of identifying details to lodge an insurance claim with the insurance provider of the responsible driver.
A few techniques can assist you in identifying a phantom driver. Other witnesses at the scene of the accident, may have noted the car’s license plate or can be able to provide special features of the vehicle. If you caught a glimpse of the driver that can also be useful.
In some instances, the at-fault driver might return to the scene and agree he was responsible, but this is quite rare. If you fail to determine the identity of the faulty driver, you can result to your car insurance’s uninsured motorist coverage to meet a portion of your costs.
It is advisable to get legal counsel from a hit and run accident lawyer in Georgia, immediately the accident happens, to know the options you have.
What Actions Do I Take If a Phantom Driver Hits Me?
If your car crashes as you attempt to avoid hitting a phantom driver, call 911 to file a report on your car crash. If you have experienced any serious injuries, you should immediately get the necessary medical attention.
Otherwise, as you wait for the police to arrive, these are some things you can be doing.
Write Down All Information
Note on a paper or phone all the details you can recall about the crash as well as about the other car. The details should include; the appearance of the driver, the make of the car they drove, information on their license plate, and any extra information. Also, be ready to explain in detail how the phantom driver triggered your car crash.
If in a position to take a picture of the car, do so before they get away from the scene, it could be useful. Also, capture all the car damage and personal injuries that were caused by the accident.
Seek For and Talk to Witnesses
As highlighted above, pursue any witnesses and inquire about what they observed. They might have noted extra details related to the phantom driver.
Communicate Your Crash to Your Insurance
You will be required to relay your accident to your car insurance within 24 hours of the crash, where possible. Amassing the information highlighted above will assist in confirming that the crash occurred (and it was brought about by the second driver), so your insurance claim is approved.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Accidents caused by phantom drivers can get tangled quickly, particularly if you fail to gather sufficient details on the phantom driver. However, do not let this dissuade you from asking for help. Your options might not be as limited as you think. Also, using the counsel of a lawyer highly improves the likelihood of financial compensation.
Do You Need Assistance Following a Phantom Driver Accident?
Navigating a phantom driver car crash is a challenge as you’re troubled about settling your expenses and receiving coverage from your insurance provider. At The Weinstein Firm, we can take care of the legal details. We will look into your case and provide the optimal solutions having the objective of complete financial recovery. This means you will be able to concentrate on recovering from your car crash.
To get a FREE consultation with any of our capable car accident attorneys within Georgia, contact us now at 770-HELP-NOW or complete the form provided to begin your financial recovery process.