A phantom car accident is a unique and strange case. When people imagine a car accident, they have two or more cars in mind. But sometimes, traffic collisions are more complex than that. For example, a hit-and-run accident victim may have little or no information about the person who struck them. Such a situation can complicate the process of applying for an insurance claim.
However, another situation is known as a miss-and-run or a phantom car accident. Unlike a hit-and-run where the driver leaves behind some evidence, a phantom driver leaves little or no evidence. Thus, proving that someone else’s negligence caused the crash may be more difficult.
This article discusses what a phantom car accident is and the steps you can take to ensure you can receive maximum compensation from the at-fault party. If you were involved in a crash with a phantom driver, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Bethune Law Firm could help you. Contact us immediately.
Explaining Phantom Car Accidents
A phantom car crash happens when a vehicle causes another to crash without colliding with it. For instance, you may drive in the right lane when a car suddenly enters in front of you. Then, in trying to avoid a collision, you swerve and strike the guardrail.
The collision force leaves you injured, and before you can ask the other driver for their information, they drive off. The person who sped off is the phantom driver. The term originated from explaining how a driver can cause a crash without being physically involved.
What To Do When a Phantom Driver Causes a Crash
A phantom driver is as dangerous as a hit-and-run as both motorists leave injured drivers on the road without stopping to help. If you were involved in a phantom car accident, you should take the same steps as you would in other types of traffic crashes. So first, call the police and report the accident.
The police are your best chance of tracking down the driver and holding them liable for your injuries and losses. So, it would help if you could provide the investigators with the following information:
- The make and model of the car, and the year, if possible
- The color of the vehicle
- Any distinguishing features like dents, scratches, or modifications
- What the driver looked like (their sex, presumed age and height, and race)
- When, where, and how the accident happened
- The vehicle’s license plate, even if it is just a partial
- The direction the phantom driver was going before the accident
Remember that providing this information does not guarantee that the police will apprehend the phantom driver. But it is an excellent place to start, and even if the authorities cannot find the driver, you may still be able to recover compensation.
How To Recover Compensation Following a Phantom Car Accident
After a crash caused by a phantom driver, the best option would be to turn to your uninsured motorist coverage. Note that Georgia does not mandate drivers to buy this policy. But it is always a great idea to have one in case of collisions like this.
Suppose you have uninsured motorist coverage. You can file a claim with your insurance provider, but you have to prove that you were not responsible for the crash. Generally, insurance companies do not relish paying compensation. So, you need evidence to show that the phantom driver caused the crash, not you.
As such, you need to present:
- Photos of the crash scene, including tire tracks
- Witness statements
- Video footage of the crash scene
There’s a chance you failed to gather all this evidence due to your injuries. If that’s the case, speak with the investigating police officer on obtaining the police report. Usually, you can make an online application.
What if the Police Arrested the Driver
If this happens, you can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. However, you’ll need to establish the phantom motorist’s negligence. That means proving the duty of care, breach, causation, and damages. You can recover the following as settlement:
- Medical bills
- Cost of vehicle repair
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress, etc.
Let Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Help You
Motor vehicle accidents leave devastating consequences. Victims who survive often have severe injuries that might affect their lives forever. Thankfully, Georgia law allows crash victims to recover compensation from the at-fault party, and our legal team can help.
At Bethune Law Firm, we have years of combined experience helping crash victims and will do all we can to help you get a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free case review.