Miss and Run Accidents: Beware the Phantom Driver

Published on June 12, 2019, by Matthew Sharp

Car Accident

Miss and Run Accidents: Beware the Phantom Driver

Miss and run accidents caused by phantom drivers often result in serious injuries and fatalities, yet these drivers speed away from the accident without stopping.

What is a Phantom Car Accident?

A phantom car accident is similar to a hit and run, except the driver’s vehicle never touches the injury victim or the victim’s car. Phantom drivers often swerve into other lanes, pass cars too closely, forcefully merge into heavy traffic, or throw objects out of their windows causing other drivers to swerve or stop suddenly. While startled, unsuspecting drivers swerve into curbs, barrier walls, or other vehicles, phantom drivers speed away from the scene of the accident.

While some phantom drivers realize they caused an accident, other drivers are distracted by talking or texting on their cell phone, changing car radio stations, eating while driving, or alcohol and drugs. Miss and run accidents caused by phantom drivers result in thousands of serious injuries and deaths each year. Injury victims are often left to deal with the aftermath all alone.

Who’s Responsible for Damages?

Miss and run accidents are difficult to prove because injury victims have no idea who the phantom driver is in most cases. Unless the injury victim or a witness to the accident gets a description of the vehicle, driver, or license plate number, there is no one to sue. A person can, however, file a claim against his/her own insurance company to recover damages caused by phantom vehicle accidents.

According to many insurance company policies, a phantom vehicle accident is treated as an uninsured motorist claim. If the insurer accepts the injury victim’s account of events related to the car accident, the insurer will pay for the victim’s losses. The insurer will conduct an investigation into the accident, but it may take time to come to a conclusion. In some cases where proof of a phantom vehicle is difficult, the insurance company may offer a low settlement to close the case or deny the claim entirely.

In cases that involve phantom vehicle accidents, many insurance companies are hesitant to pay accident and injury claims. To create a credible claim, accident victims must file a police report at the scene of the accident and seek immediate medical attention for injuries.