Phantom cars? No, this isn’t a Scooby Doo edition of my blog. Today, I’m writing about those cars that zoom into or out of traffic, leaving a swath of bedlam in their wake, never to return again. They are called phantom cars and they can wreak havoc on your life. You should know your options if you’re ever the victim of a phantom car accident.
We’ve all been there: You’re driving up I-25 and, out of nowhere, a car careens across traffic to make an exit ramp. Or a car speeds down the on-ramp into traffic, blazing away. Meanwhile, all the people who had to swerve and hit brakes to save their own lives are left in a pile in their wake. You may have hit another car or even the roadside barrier.
The truth is, the police may never find the driver of the phantom car. Yet, you still have to deal with damages and injuries. What are your options?
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know one of the things you must do immediately: Get witnesses! If witnesses and police say that you took evasive action to avoid the phantom car, you can use your insurance to cover your expenses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
How? With your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. STOP READING NOW AND CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY TO SEE IF YOU HAVE UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE! (UIM) If you don’t have it, get it.
At a minimum, you should have $100,000 UIM coverage. Too often, people don’t carry UIM because they think their healthcare insurance is enough. But that’s not true. First, think of your health insurance deductibles and co-pays. In some severe cases, those expenses alone are enough to stress a person’s finances. Second, health insurance doesn’t cover everything that UIM covers.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
- All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
Health insurance and UIM insurance are completely different. To learn more about this topic, download this free car accident book: A Little Book About the Big Things You Should Know.
Honestly, you should think of your own insurance more often than you probably do. Even as a pedestrian or a biker, you can access your insurance after an accident as long as there was a car involved.
Here’s another crazy story. (I can tell stories all day.)
Our client was driving on C-470 when a car came tearing down the on ramp, cutting in front of our client, who swerved in front of another car, which also swerved in front of a car, which also swerved… you get the idea. It was complete pandemonium.
The driver that caused the mess? Took off and was never found. He or she may not even know that they caused such damages. (But seriously… do YOU believe that?)
As the attorneys representing one of the victims of the phantom car, our job was to maximize her underinsured motorist coverage as best as we could. As the victim in one of these cases, it can be hard to understand exactly what your insurance company owes you and what you can ask for.
In fact, some of our clients need us to hire an accident reconstructionist to prove that another car was even involved. When there are no witnesses and no “paint swapped” between the phantom car and your car, the burden of proof rests with you. We know the experts who can prove that the fault was not made by the victim, but rather by a phantom vehicle.
Have you checked your insurance policy for UIM coverage yet?