If you’re driving down an expressway and a car starts drifting into your lane, you may be able to swerve into an empty lane next to you and avoid an accident.
But what if you’re driving down a two-lane road and a car brakes hard right in front of you? Your only options are:
- Hit the brakes and hope you don’t crash into the car
- Swerve to the left and risk hitting oncoming traffic
- Swerve to the right off the road
For many people, the instinct is to swerve to the right and take your chances off the road.
But what if you hit a tree or a fence and still damage your car? Is the driver who caused you to swerve responsible for your damages?
Phantom Drivers in No-Contact Car Accidents
The situation above describes a no-contact car accident, in which another driver causes you to crash into something other than their car.
The other driver may not even know they caused your car accident. They may speed away, leaving you with a damaged or totaled car and maybe even some medical injuries.
The driver who caused you to crash is known as a phantom driver. Like a ghost, they may appear and cause harm, but you may never see them again, and it may be difficult to convince people that they existed in the first place.
Phantom drivers should be treated by your insurance company like uninsured drivers.
All liability insurance policies in Indiana are required to have at least minimum amounts of uninsured/underinsured motorist liability coverage. You can only opt out of uninsured motorist coverage in writing at the time of purchase.
The Need for Witnesses in No-Contact Car Accidents
Your insurance policy may require a witness to confirm that phantom driver really did cause your accident.
Some insurance companies require your witness to be an independent third-party—so not your spouse, relative, or friend in the car with you at the time of the crash. Be sure to get the contact information of any pedestrians or other drivers who witnessed the crash and can confirm your story.
If there are no witnesses—if it’s 2 a.m. and you’re driving down a country road alone and a car swerves into your lane and you hit a tree—you may have trouble proving to the insurance company that your phantom driver exists.
Hensley Legal Group Can Help
Whether you have witnesses or not, the insurance company may still call your phantom driver a hoax.
If you’ve been in a car accident because you tried to avoid hitting another car, call Hensley Legal Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can stand up to the insurance company and get you the compensation you deserve.