Uninsured Motorists and Phantom Vehicles

Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection to the insured if the other driver(s) in an accident do not have car insurance. This coverage has the added benefit of offering protection to motorists who are victims of hit-and-run type accidents when the at-fault driver cannot be identified. In addition to this protection, uninsured motorist coverage can also protect you from “Phantom Vehicles.”

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving causes innumerable accidents, and sometimes the distracted driver is not even aware they’ve caused an accident. For instance, a driver could ignore a red light and causes you to swerve to avoid a collision. It’s possible they might not have seen you, and perhaps they continue driving and leave the accident. These situations can result in severe injuries to you, and expensive damage to your vehicle. In most hit-and-run accidents, physical contact between all involved vehicles is required to make an uninsured motorist claim. Phantom vehicles have no such requirement, but instead have unique criteria.

Being Involved in an Accident With a Phantom Vehicle

In order for a “phantom vehicle” to qualify under uninsured motorist coverage the following must be met under Wis. Stat § 632.32(2)(bh):

  1. The motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a person who has uninsured motorist coverage
  2. In the accident, the motor vehicle makes no physical contact with the insured or with a vehicle the insured is occupying
  3. The identity of neither the operator nor the owner of the motor vehicle can be ascertained

If these criteria are met, then timely steps are required to succeed on this claim under Wis. Stat § 632.32(2)(g)2:

  1. The facts of the accident are corroborated by competent evidence that is provided by someone other than the insured or any other person who makes a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage as a result of the accident
  2. Within 72 hours after the accident, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured reports the accident to a police, peace, or judicial officer or to the department of transportation or, if the accident occurs outside of Wisconsin, the equivalent agency in the state where the accident occurs
  3. Within 30 days after the accident occurs, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured files with the insurer a statement under oath that the insured or a legal representative of the insured has a cause of action arising out of the accident for damages against a person whose identity is not ascertainable and setting forth the facts in support of the statement.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Wisconsin

Groth Law Firm has experience and success in handling auto accidents. If you think your auto accident has hit-and-run, or “phantom vehicles” issues, contact us today and let us start working on your case.