Even if you take proper safety precautions when driving, other motorists can make decisions that cause you to get into an accident. A common example of this is when a driver swerves into your lane, causing you to swerve and collide with another vehicle.
If you’ve been involved in such an accident, you might be unsure how to pursue.
compensation. Fortunately, the attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan have worked with countless clients who swerved to avoid a car but ended up hitting another car. We know how to handle these cases and can provide the information and representation you need to come out on top.
What Happens When You Hit a Car While Trying to Avoid a Collision
When a driver causes you to swerve and hit another car, there’s a chance that they’ll pull over to see if you’re alright and exchange insurance information with the parties involved. If that happens, you can write down their insurance information and give it to your car accident attorney. From there, your lawyer will file a claim with the driver’s insurance company.
However, if the motorist keeps driving, seeking damages from their insurer can be more challenging. In this situation, the driver who caused you to get into an accident is known as a “phantom driver.” If they aren’t identified, you and the other driver involved in the incident won’t be able to file a claim for compensation with their insurance provider.
That said, there are steps you can take to identify a “phantom driver” and even obtain compensation when the motorist isn’t identified.
Actions You Should Take After a Phantom Driver Car Accident
If a phantom driver caused you to swerve into another lane and cause an accident, there are a few steps you can take immediately after the crash to protect your health and improve your chances of receiving compensation. Here’s what you should do right away:
Call the Police
The first step you should take after any accident is to call local law enforcement. They’ll arrive at the scene of the collision and conduct an investigation. With their help, you could be able to identify the phantom driver who caused your accident.
Either way, having the police respond to a crash is always important, as they’ll create an accident report that your attorney can use to support your claim.
Assess Your Injuries
It’s also crucial that you assess your injuries and determine if you need immediate medical attention. If you hit your head on the steering wheel or if you’ve suffered other severe injuries, you’ll want to skip the following steps and get medical treatment.
Speak to Witnesses
If your injuries are mild, you’ll want to look for anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Look for pedestrians or motorists who pulled over to check on you. Ask them what they saw and find out if they’d be willing to meet with your attorney to provide testimony. Their eyewitness statement could help you identify the phantom driver and obtain damages.
Write Down Details
It’s important that you write down any details you remember about the phantom driver who made you swerve and cause a car accident. Doing so quickly will ensure that your memory of the incident is fresh.
Make sure to take note of any details you remember about the driver’s car, including the color, license plate, bumper sticker, noticeable damage, and any other defining characteristics.
If you got a good look at the phantom driver’s face when the collision occurred, write down what they looked like. Having this information could help you find the driver and hold them liable for the financial losses you’ve incurred.
Hire an Attorney
While there are several steps you can take to identify the phantom driver and collect evidence for your case, you’ll still need an attorney to file a successful claim. Once you’ve left the scene of the accident and received medical treatment, contact a lawyer and meet with them to discuss your case.
A skilled attorney may be able to use the information you collected at the scene of the crash to identify the at-fault driver. If that’s not possible, they can help you explore other paths to compensation.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You After a Phantom Driver Crash
If your lawyer is successful in identifying the driver who caused you to swerve into another car, they’ll be able to file an insurance claim with the phantom driver’s insurer. Then, they’ll work with the insurance provider’s representatives and negotiate with them until a fair settlement offer is agreed upon.
However, if your attorney is unable to identify the driver, they’ll have to pursue compensation for your losses another way. Depending on the insurance coverage you have, your lawyer could help you seek financial remedies by filing an uninsured motorist claim.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, all auto insurance plans must have uninsured motorist coverage unless the policyholder opts out of it. Uninsured motorist coverage can help you recover compensation for injuries caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
However, it can also be used to cover losses caused by a phantom driver. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your car accident lawyer can help you file a claim with your policy. If your claim is successful, you could receive several or more of the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing and future medical care costs
- Vehicle repair costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Meet With an Experienced Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Vaughan & Vaughan has represented auto collision victims in Indiana for over a century. During that time, our firm has helped many individuals involved in phantom driver accidents get the compensation and peace of mind they need to move forward with their lives.
If you swerved to avoid a car accident but hit another car, our team will be able to investigate your accident and work hard to try to identify the at-fault driver. If we can’t find the phantom driver, we’ll pursue all other paths to compensation, including an uninsured motorist claim.
To get the experienced and effective representation you need during this challenging time, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.