Portland Phantom Car Accident Lawyers
Another driver cuts you off in traffic and you slam on your brakes. Or they veer into your lane, forcing you into another lane or off the road. There are many ways another car can send you into a crash with another vehicle, a fixed object, or a lane departure without ever making contact with you. These are called phantom car accidents, and they happen every day. As you might guess, getting an insurance company to pay for your damages when you weren’t physically hit by another car can be tricky. But it’s not impossible, nor should it be. When another driver causes you to have an accident through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for the costs of your injury and damage. The Rosenbaum Law Group may be able to help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers handle the full range of motor vehicle accidents in Portland, including phantom car accidents. Our attorneys pool their knowledge and experience and work together to help ensure accident victims are properly compensated for the harm done to them by a negligent driver. Contact our dedicated Portland phantom car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
How Phantom Vehicle Accidents Happen
If you’ve been driving for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced more than one occasion when another driver gets too close for comfort by accidentally drifting or swerving into your lane or even doing so aggressively and intentionally. Most of the time, these close calls are nothing more than that. But when a close call becomes a crash, you’ve just been the victim of a phantom vehicle accident. A phantom driver accident can cause you to hit another car; get rear-ended; go off the road; strike a guardrail, light pole, or tree; or jerk the steering wheel hard enough to cause a dangerous rollover accident.
Phantom car accidents can cause the most serious accidents and catastrophic injuries or even death. Here are some of the most common mistakes drivers make that lead to phantom car accidents:
- The driver turns left across traffic when another vehicle is oncoming, making that driver swerve, slam on the brakes, or lose control of their vehicle
- The driver suddenly speeds into traffic from a service station or parking lot
- Driver changes lanes without signaling or looking over their shoulder to see if the lane is occupied or clear
- A drunk driver drives on the wrong side of the road
- A drowsy driver drifts over the double-yellow center line
- Driver aggressively pushes another vehicle out of the lane, tailgates, or swerves in front of them and then taps or hits their brakes
Recovering Compensation After a Phantom Vehicle Crash
There are a couple of different ways to pursue compensation after a phantom driver accident. If you can locate the driver who caused your crash, you can bring a claim against them and their liability insurance. Likely the driver sped away before you could get their license plate number, but there may have been security cameras or witnesses who caught what happened and can provide information about the vehicle or at least demonstrate that the accident was not your fault. Even a partial plate number can be enough to locate a driver in some instances. Our experienced investigative team may be able to help.
If the phantom vehicle can’t be located, your phantom car accident is more like a hit-and-run accident, which should be covered by your Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often likely to outright reject a UM claim when there was no physical contact between the vehicles. Some states, like California, require physical contact to make a UM claim while other states, like Washington, require insurers to cover phantom vehicle accidents as part of UM coverage. Oregon lies somewhere in the middle; your UM insurer will cover your claim, but you’ll need to provide sufficient corroborating evidence. Unfortunately, your word alone is generally not enough.
The experienced auto accident attorneys at Rosenbaum Law Group can help you gather and present the best corroborating evidence so the insurance company will accept your claim. This evidence could include security or traffic camera footage, witnesses to the accident, or the fact that you filed a police report and reported the crash to your insurance company within 72 hours of the accident. One key step is getting the police or insurance company to classify the accident as a hit-and-run, and our seasoned car crash injury lawyers can help provide the essential facts to prove this case.
Contact the Rosenbaum Law Group Today
To be successful on a phantom car accident claim, it’s essential to contact the police and insurer quickly, so it’s even more important to call an attorney immediately after the crash to protect your claim. Get medical help as needed, call the police at the scene if possible, and call Rosenbaum Law Group as soon as you can. We are a top Oregon firm for auto accidents as well as insurance bad faith and coverage disputes, so we know how to deal with challenging claims. Call our dedicated Portland phantom car accident lawyers today.