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What Is Wisconsin’s “Hit and Miss” Law?

Published on Apr 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm in Car Accidents.

Your whole life can turn upside down when you’re a victim in a car accident. Your injuries can be expensive, and your medical bills can start to pile up. You may not be able to work. The accident can have psychological effects that will require you to focus on more than recovering from physical injuries. When you’re filing a car accident claim, you usually have the other party’s information. But sometimes you don’t know who caused your accident.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident by an unidentified driver, you need the help of a Milwaukee car accident lawyer from Urban & Taylor. We understand that these cases can be overwhelming and frustrating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need so you can recover.

What’s a Miss and Run?

You’re probably more familiar with the phrase hit-and-run, where a driver hits another person or piece of property and drives away. A miss-and-run is slightly different. Miss-and-run accidents happen where you don’t have contact with another vehicle, but someone else still caused you to be in an accident.

Has anyone ever swerved in front of you or started to merge but didn’t look to see that you were there? In these cases, you probably had to quickly brake, speed up, or get out of the way. When you have to quickly maneuver like this, you could drive off the road, collide with a guard rail, or hit another car. The original car that caused this to happen drives away and can be called “phantom vehicles.”

These cases are tricky because you’re trying to prove you weren’t at fault, but the other vehicle isn’t there. It’s imperative to have an experienced lawyer who will help you.

What Do You Need to Know About the Law?

Wisconsin citizens should be aware of the state’s changes to miss-and-run law in 2011. Before that, there was a law called “Truth in Auto Insurance.” Coverage will be allowed if there’s an independent third party that can show evidence that there was an unidentified motor vehicle involved in the accident.

There were some additions to miss-and-run law. People who experience a miss-and-run need to report the accident to the police within 72 hours. Like the Truth in Auto Insurance, the accident needs to have evidence from someone who isn’t making a claim against the uninsured motorist to corroborate it. The third provision states that within 30 days of the accident, the person making the claim must file a statement that their accident involved a person whose identity isn’t ascertainable.

This is a short time window to act and it’s not clear how extenuating circumstances factor in to the provision. For instance, you may wonder what happens if a person is injured and cannot act within that time frame? It’s also not clear how strictly enforced the 30-day deadline is. You best move is to have a lawyer to help you with your claim.

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