Phantom Drivers: How Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help?
If you were in an accident caused by a phantom driver, your personal injury lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your medical bills and other losses. If a phantom driver caused a collision between you and another vehicle, your attorney could help you prove you were not at fault.
What Is a Phantom Driver?
Phantom drivers are motorists who cause a car accident without ever contacting another vehicle. These drivers often leave the scene, either to avoid responsibility or because they are unaware they have caused an accident. For this reason, phantom driver accidents are also called “miss and runs.”
These accidents usually occur when a driver performs a defensive maneuver to avoid a collision with a phantom driver. For example, a phantom driver may pull out in front of you, causing you to swerve or stop short to prevent a collision. However, this action could result in you hitting another vehicle, running off the road, or getting rear-ended.
How Can Your Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Seek Compensation for Your Accident?
Because phantom drivers frequently do not stop at the scene, you might find it challenging to hold them financially responsible for your damages. However, when it comes to seeking compensation, you can turn to your uninsured motorist coverage for losses caused by an unidentified driver, according to Va. Code § 38.2-2206.
Your insurance company will want proof that a phantom driver caused your crash. They may even try to reduce or deny your settlement by placing the blame on you. To combat this tactic, your personal injury lawyer can:
- Locate and speak with eyewitnesses who saw your crash.
- Obtain available cellphone or surveillance video of your accident.
- Help track down leads, such as a license plate number, which could locate the phantom driver.
- Take photographs of your crash site, vehicle damage, and injuries.
- Contact experts, such as medical professionals and crash reconstructionists, who can testify on your behalf.
- Obtain official crash reports from local law enforcement.
Recoverable Damages in an Insurance Claim
Throughout the insurance claim process, your attorney will handle communications with the insurance company. They will make sure your case progresses as quickly as possible, review your settlement offers, and negotiate for the highest amount of compensation possible for you. In addition, your lawyer will work to secure these awards:
- Medical bills: Including past and future accident-related treatment, such as surgeries, hospitalizations, and rehabilitation services.
- Lost income: Including your back pay and loss of future earning capacity if your injuries keep you from returning to work.
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience: Including awards for chronic pain, scarring and disfigurement, loss of mobility, stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Wrongful death: This compensates you if your loved one suffered a fatal injury. You could recover for your loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of their income, wages, and benefits.
What Happens If a Phantom Driver Caused You to Hit Another Car?
Phantom driver accidents become even more complicated when the miss and run driver causes a collision between you and another vehicle. The driver you hit may try to hold you liable for their damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you prove you were not driving negligently and should not have to pay for their losses.
Can Your Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Pursue a Lawsuit?
If the insurance company denies your claim or does not offer a satisfactory settlement, you can seek compensation in civil court. Your personal injury attorney can represent you in a lawsuit.
There is no deadline for filing an insurance claim, though you should start the process as soon as possible following your accident. If you must take legal action, you are bound by Virginia’s statute of limitations.
According to Va. Code § 8.01-243, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The law also allows two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, according to Va. Code § 8.01-244. The clock starts when your accident occurred or upon your loved one’s death.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC for Help with Your Phantom Driver Accident Case
Attorney Jim Parrish focuses exclusively on personal injury law. For years, he worked representing insurance companies. He now uses the information he gained working inside the insurance industry to help personal injury clients get the compensation they need. He will not allow insurance companies to give you the runaround or unfairly deny you the money you deserve.
Seeking justice should not add to your financial concerns during an already trying time. We take cases on contingency, meaning you do not pay a fee unless we win a settlement or verdict in your favor. To learn more about how Jim Parrish and the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can serve you, call (571) 229-1800 today for a free consultation.
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