It happens all the time.  There’s a line of cars.  Traffic is heavy.  There’s a vehicle on a side-street that wants to make a left hand turn and go the opposite direction.  A well meaning driver stops and waves the turning driver through.  BAM!  The turning driver gets hit by an oncoming vehicle he didn’t and couldn’t see.

There are a lot of Washington cases that deal with this exact situation.  If the driver who provided the “wave through” can be identified, he’s going to be responsible for the accident and injuries.

If the driver who provided the wave through left the scene, then both drivers involved in the accident can make claims under their uninsured motorist policies because the driver who provided the signal is treated as a phantom vehicle.

A “phantom vehicle” shall mean a motor vehicle which causes bodily injury, death, or property damage to an insured and has no physical contact with the insured or the vehicle which the insured is occupying at the time of the accident if:
(a) The facts of the accident can be corroborated by competent evidence other than the testimony of the insured or any person having an underinsured motorist claim resulting from the accident; and
(b) The accident has been reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within seventy-two hours of the accident.

Regardless how unusual an accident seems, it’s likely that there’s a Washington case that deals with a similar situation and an experienced attorney will be able to help.

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