Halloween is just around the corner and everyone’s in the mood for scary movies. Remember the movie Christine? Pretty scary for the time, right? Well, this is not about that kind of phantom vehicle, sorry. This is about another scary kind of vehicle-the Phantom Vehicle. (Cue evil laugh)
A phantom vehicle is one that causes injury, death or damage either with or without making physical contact. For example, if a vehicle runs you off the road and causes you to crash, they are considered a phantom vehicle. The name refers to the fact that in most such cases, the driver of the phantom vehicle, much like a hit and run driver, leaves the scene, and thus in the subsequent accident investigation, the identity of the phantom vehicle is unknown. Only eye witness testimony, surveillance video or dash cam recordings may assist in identifying the phantom vehicle. It is also critical to get the name and address of any witnesses who saw the phantom vehicle as they can help you establish your claim.
Most Uninsured Motorist insurance policies will provide coverage to customers who have been injured as a result of a negligent phantom vehicle. However, many of those policies put restrictions on how phantom vehicle claims can be pursued. For example, some policies require that a phantom vehicle accident be reported to the insurance company within 24 hours of the crash. Meanwhile, other policies attempt to require that some physical impact between the vehicles occurred.
Phantom vehicle claims can be really tricky, so a wise consumer might want to consult an experienced Florida accident attorney. I have handled many such cases and would be honored to help you, too.
Every car accident claim needs a strong foundation of evidence to establish fault for the crash and show the extent of the damages you or your loved one suffered.
Even though you may be the innocent victim of someone else’s negligence, when it comes to your day in court, YOU have the burden of proving who’s at fault and what your damages are. The at-fault driver or owner of the car does not have a duty to preserve evidence for you to present your case.
Physical evidence from the accident comes in many forms. First is pictures and video, which have become increasingly easier to gather thanks to camera phones. You or someone at the scene should take photos of the area, any damaged property, the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Also see if there are any nearby buildings with outside surveillance cameras that may have captured the crash.
So…what do you do? If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another, you need to make sure you get an attorney that will aggressively investigate your claim and lock in all of the evidence at the get go. That’s our “lock and load” stage. Whether it’s visiting accident scenes, junk yards, inspecting vehicles, obtaining surveillance videos or tracking down witnesses and getting their statements, we are on it. Don’t hesitate to call me immediately from the accident scene. I want to be there when you need me most. When it comes down to it, you want an attorney that’s not afraid to get “down and dirty” for you!
A black box. Also known as event data recorder it is traditionally associated with airplane accidents because it helps the investigators to determine what went wrong. But the technology is no longer limited to aircrafts. In fact, you most likely have a black box beneath your seat or behind the dashboard in your car. Almost all new cars are already equipped with one of these small devices and if you drive a car that is not older from 5 years, you most likely have one yourself. If you are not sure whether your car is equipped with a car black box or not, you can check the owner manual. The data from the car black box is a reliable record of the driver’s actions few seconds before the accident and is an important piece of evidence when there are no witnesses of the accident or/and the drivers are blaming each other for causing the collision. It records various data depending from one car to another, most often the speed, turning, braking, accelerating, decelerating, etc. about five seconds before the collision. However, those five seconds are usually enough to get the necessary information about the events that led to the accident. Even more, the data from the car black box has been also used as evidence in the courts and had a major influence on the outcome of the trial.
It is vitally important to contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible after your accident in order to preserve as much evidence as possible.