Most drivers have heard of “hit and run” accidents; a driver hits another vehicle and leaves the scene before anyone can identify the offending driver. However, there is another type of accident that drivers need to be aware of because of the very strict statutory requirements for reporting related to those accidents.
Accidents can be caused by a driver who swerves, crosses a center line, deviates from their lane of travel, or drives in some other manner that forces you to react to avoid a collision. If this happens and the other driver never makes contact with your vehicle, but your reaction to the driving behavior causes you to hit another object, the offending vehicle is known as a “phantom vehicle”.
This type of accident can leave you with injuries and other damage but because the other driver is unknown, there is no individual or insurance company to hold responsible.
Fortunately, uninsured motorist coverage is a mandatory type of auto insurance coverage in Wisconsin, and your own UM coverage may be available to cover your damages and losses in a phantom motor vehicle accident case. Unfortunately, there are very strict requirements for the timely reporting of these types of losses, and if the requirements of the phantom vehicle statute are not met, you will find yourself without any recourse to recoup your losses.
Phantom Vehicle Defined by Statute
Section 632.32(2)(bh) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines what a “Phantom Motor Vehicle” is. If every one of the elements below exists, the motor vehicle is a “phantom motor vehicle;”
Reporting Requirements After a Miss and Run Accident Involving a Phantom Motor Vehicle
Without the identify of the phantom driver, you will not be able to make a claim against the phantom driver or their insurer, because both are unknown. However, you may be able to make a claim under your own UM coverage, but you must meet all of the reporting requirements found in section 632.32(2)(g)2. of the Wisconsin Statutes, to do so.
The laws regarding insurance and auto accidents in Wisconsin can be complex and difficult to navigate. At Weiss Law Office, S.C., our experienced Milwaukee personal injury lawyers and Appleton personal injury lawyers can review the facts of your injury case at no cost to you to determine how to best pursue the compensation you deserve.
Although our attorneys are always eager and willing to help, there are deadlines and restrictions within our statutes that may prevent you from pursing your injury claims, so do not delay in calling (262) 240-9663 to talk to a lawyer today.
We have offices in Appleton and Milwaukee to best serve injured victims in Wisconsin.
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