Even When Injured by a “Phantom” Party, You Still Have Legal Options

SiebenCareyJanuary 20, 2021

Not long ago, a SiebenCarey client was driving on I-35, when suddenly a 29-inch metal stake crashed through the windshield of his van and struck him in the head. He crashed into a ditch and slammed to a stop in the median.
 
Our client suffered major head injuries, including a fractured skull. He incurred major medical expenses and was unable to return to work. With the support of Jeffrey Sieben and Michael Scully, he received an Uninsured Motorist settlement and a workers’ compensation award that was initially denied.
 
Typically, a lawsuit occurs when an injured person (the “plaintiff”) sues the person or entity that is allegedly responsible for the injury (the "defendant"). However, in a case when the defendant is unknown, like this one, circumstances become complicated.
 
In this instance, a motorist was at fault for operating a vehicle containing materials that were improperly and negligently secured. But this motorist was never identified. Do legal actions exist if an incident occurs that involves someone you can’t identify? Who can be held accountable for injuries and medical expenses?
 
“It’s important to understand the law in every case, but this particular case involves a ‘phantom’ driver of a car carrying a load of unsecured materials,” said Jeffrey Sieben a partner and attorney at SiebenCarey. “Legal precedent has been established allowing us to turn to the Uninsured Motorist portion of our client’s car insurance and request a settlement from the insurance company. In addition, we turned to our client’s employer to receive workers’ compensation, which helped offset his wage loss due to his injuries.” Many law firms are not equipped to assist injury victims with both the personal injury claims as well as workers’ compensation benefits. SiebenCarey is.
 
Personal injury cases often allow plaintiffs to recover economic and noneconomic compensatory damages, (past and future medical expenses, for example), as well as lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, household help, out-of-pocket costs, and losses associated with pain and suffering. In addition, plaintiffs may be eligible for economic damages – damages connected with tangible losses like medical expenses or lost income.

The key in any personal injury case is working with an attorney who understand the law and the many options that exist to recover damages. For more information about your legal rights following an accident or injury, contact Jeffrey.Sieben@knowyourrights.com or 612-333-9713.

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