What is a Phantom Driver?
The missing party in a hit-and-run incident is most frequently referred to as the “phantom driver” or “phantom vehicle.” However, a person might be referred to as a “phantom driver” whenever they are unidentified and allegedly cause a motor vehicle accident.
Types of Phantom Driver Situations
The term “phantom driver” is most frequently used concerning uninsured motorist accident claims where the at-fault driver fled the accident scene and cannot be located. However, the term may also be broader.
Accidents That Are Not "Hit and Run" Accidents
Accidents involving phantom drivers aren’t always considered hit-and-runs. For instance, imagine a vehicle drifting into a lane of traffic, causing another car to change lanes to escape a collision. The second motorist then unintentionally collides with a pedestrian, a piece of property, or another vehicle. The first car’s driver is referred to as a “phantom driver of a phantom vehicle” if they fail to stop and return to the collision.
Distracted Drivers Can Be Phantom Drivers
In other cases, the phantom driver could not even be aware of their role in an accident. Sometimes a distracted driver is also a phantom driver. They might cause an accident because they were driving distracted without having any idea they caused the collision.
In phantom driver situations, the phrase “miss and run accident” describes a careless motorist who may have caused a collision even though they weren’t physically involved. This would also apply if a vehicle drove out in front of you, you swerved to avoid hitting it, and you collided with a parked car as a result.
How to Handle a Phantom Driver Situation
What should you do if the distracted phantom driver caused your accident? Take the following measures if the actions of a phantom driver caused you to collide with another vehicle, pedestrian, or piece of property:
- Immediately call the cops and emergency responders. Give every detail you can recall about the car or the driver.
- Make sure everyone knows that there was another driver in the collision, especially the police.
- Ask people if they saw the phantom driver. Locate witnesses who can confirm what you experienced. Gather names and descriptions and write everything down for further reference.
- Ask the police if they can gather security camera footage from local businesses.
- Take pictures of the accident’s aftermath and anything that might have caused it.
- Inform the hospital’s admissions staff, nurses, and treating physicians about the phantom driver’s involvement and the damage he caused.
- Get copies of every report. You and your car accident lawyer will need them for your case.
A Phantom Driver Does Not Translate to No Compensation
It is crucial to gather evidence to support your claims about the existence of the phantom driver because phantom accidents are difficult to prove. You can submit an insurance claim but be warned that the insurance adjuster can try to refute your account to avoid having to pay uninsured benefits. This is why it is important to hire an experienced accident attorney to file your claim.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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