What Is a Phantom Vehicle and Why Are They So Common?
A phantom vehicle puts others on the road at risk – it has its headlights off after dark. Headlights are essential for safety from dusk to dawn. In Colorado, drivers are required by law to use their headlights between sunset and sunrise and under any other conditions, including inclement weather or when visibility is limited to less than 1,000 feet. Drivers in phantom vehicles can be cited and fined for a class A traffic infraction.
How Does Failure to Have Your Lights On Affect Liability?
If failure to use headlights causes an accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for the crash. Liability in personal injury claims is generally based on negligence. Actions of drivers that violate traffic rules, such as speeding, running red lights, or driving after dark without headlights, constitute a breach of duty of care and negligence.
Why Are More Motorists Driving Without Headlights These Days?
The main reason more drivers are driving without headlights after dark comes down to the digital dashboards on newer vehicles. In the past, analog gauges on dashboards were only illuminated when the headlights were on. This made it obvious to drivers if they forgot to turn on their headlights after dark. In newer vehicles with dashboard lights that stay on day or night, drivers no longer have this reminder. Daytime running lamps in newer vehicles are another factor because they light the roadway, causing drivers to believe their headlights are on.
What Can Happen When You Encounter a Phantom Vehicle on the Road?
When a driver neglects to turn on the headlights at night, other drivers may not be able to see the vehicle. Visibility is a major factor in avoiding nighttime crashes. Rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents, and other types of wrecks are more likely to occur when motorists are driving without their lights on.
What Compensation Is Available for a Crash Caused by a Driver in a Phantom Vehicle?
If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver who failed to turn on the vehicle’s headlights after dark or in limited visibility conditions, you may be able to file a claim with the at-fault auto insurance company or file a lawsuit against the driver in civil court. Common damages in serious car accident claims include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or earnings
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
How Can a Colorado Springs Car Accident Attorney Help?
Insurance companies are in business for profit; the more they pay out in claims, the less profit they make. They will likely make a lowball settlement offer that falls far short of covering all your losses. We advise you not to accept any settlement, sign anything, or make any recorded statements to insurance company representatives without first consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers can thoroughly investigate your accident to determine fault and liability and secure evidence to support your claim. We can accurately assess the full extent of your damages, build a strong case based on the evidence, and negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf. If necessary, we can fight effectively in court for the compensation you deserve.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to aggressively representing the rights of our clients. We will fight for fair compensation after a crash caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact us at (719) 475-2555 if you have been hurt in an accident caused by a phantom vehicle to get a skilled Colorado personal injury attorney on your side.