The term “phantom driver,” or a phantom vehicle, is most commonly used to describe the missing party in a hit-and-run situation. But any time someone is unidentified and allegedly caused an accident, they can be considered a “phantom driver.”
Types of Phantom Driver Situations
The term phantom driver comes up most often in uninsured motorist accident claims where the driver who caused the accident drove away and cannot be identified. But the definition can be more extensive, as well.
Accidents that Are Not “Hit and Run” Accidents
There are times when an accident involving a phantom driver isn’t technically a hit and run. For example, some accidents are caused by one driver drifting into the oncoming lane, causing another driver to shift to another lane while trying to avoid the first driver. As a result, the second driver accidentally hits another vehicle, a piece of property, or a pedestrian. If the driver of the first shifting vehicle doesn’t stop and return to the accident, they are known as a phantom driver of a phantom vehicle.
Distracted Drivers Can Be Phantom Drivers
In some situations, the phantom driver may not even know that they caused a crash. In other cases, a phantom driver is also a distracted driver. They might have caused an accident because they were distracted but not even noticed their distracted driving led to the collision.
In phantom driver instances, the term “miss and run accident” is used to describe a reckless driver who might cause the accident even though they weren’t physically in the accident. This would also be the case if someone pulled out in front of you, you swerved to miss them, and this caused you to smash into a parked car.
How to Handle a Phantom Driver Situation
What should you do if you’ve been affected by the distracted phantom driver? In cases where you’ve hit another vehicle because of the phantom driver’s actions, you should take the following steps:
- Start talking about the phantom driver right away. Be sure everyone, especially the police, knows that another person was involved in the crash.
- Ask, “did you see that?” Find witnesses to describe the same thing you experienced. Ask if anyone got a photo of the incident they can share. Take pictures of the after effects of the accident along with anything that might have contributed to it.
- Get names and descriptions, and record this information for future follow-up.
- Call 911 and police immediately. Provide everything you remember about the vehicle or the driver.
- At the hospital, tell the admitting staff, nurses, and doctors involved in your treatment about the phantom driver and what he caused.
- Acquire copies of all reports. You or your attorney will need them for your case.
A Phantom Driver Does Not Translate to No Compensation
Phantom accidents are more difficult to prove, so collecting your evidence to help support your story of the phantom’s existence is important. You can file a claim with your insurance provider, but be aware that the insurance adjuster may attempt to disprove your story so they don’t have to pay uninsured benefits.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help Today
John Foy & Associates can help you gather the information and evidence you need to prove your case. Using the information that you gathered at the time of the incident, and information that our experienced team can gather, we will be able to support you in facing the insurance claim adjusters assigned to your case. We can also keep you from being manipulated into admitting any fault. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page and get your free consultation today.