Phantom Vehicle Law and Legal Definition

A phantom vehicle is a vehicle that causes injury, death, or property damage to an insured person or his/her vehicle without any physical contact with the insured or the vehicle the insured is occupying. Hit and run incidents are sometimes referred to in insurance coverage as phantom vehicles. Laws relating to phantom vehicles vary by state.

According to ORS § 742.504, “Phantom vehicle" means “a vehicle that causes bodily injury to an insured arising out of a motor vehicle accident that is caused by a vehicle that has no physical contact with the insured or the vehicle the insured is occupying at the time of the accident, provided:

(A) The identity of either the operator or the owner of the phantom vehicle cannot be ascertained;

(B) The facts of the accident can be corroborated by competent evidence other than the testimony of the insured or any person having an uninsured motorist claim resulting from the accident; and

(C) The insured or someone on behalf of the insured reported the accident within 72 hours to a police, peace or judicial officer, to the Department of Transportation or to the equivalent department in the state where the accident occurred, and filed with the insurer within 30 days thereafter a statement under oath that the insured or the legal representative of the insured has a cause or causes of action arising out of the accident for damages against a person or persons whose identities are unascertainable, and setting forth the facts in support thereof.