The Phantom Vehicle Rule – The Hit and Run Problem
Imagine you are driving and you are hit by another car and it takes off, but you are unable to identify that owner or driver or vehicle. What happens then? Are you covered by your own insurance? Who pays for your property damage? Who pays for your medical treatment if you are injured? This is the Hit and Run Problem.
If you purchased Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you may be covered under your own insurance. But, the law is very strict on what you must do. Let’s take it step-by-step.
California law requires the following:
(1) there usually must be physical contact between your vehicle and the other vehicle;
(2) you must report the accident within 24 hours to the police; and
(3) you must report it to your insurance carrier within 30 days. (Ins. Code §11580.2(b))
If you do not follow these rules strictly, your own insurance company may deny you coverage! This is also known as the Phantom Vehicle Rule. This Phantom Vehicle Rule is used to prevent the insured (you) from making fraudulent claims. This may occur when the insured causes a single vehicle accident but makes a fraudulent claim that it was someone else that caused it but they took off.
Protect yourself. You paid for coverage for this type of case, so you should be able to use it when you need it most. The problem is that you may not know the rules, but we do. So contact The Law Firm of R. Sam for help with the hit and run problem!