What information should I obtain from the other driver immediately following a car accident?
Knowing what information you should obtain from the other driver immediately following a car accident can be critical for preserving your legal rights, especially if the other driver caused your crash. In addition, knowing what to do at the accident scene can save lives, minimize injuries, and make the insurance claim process less complicated, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Severe car accidents can have devastating consequences on your health and your finances. However, if another driver caused the collision, you could qualify for compensation, such as healthcare costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you during this challenging time. Contact us today for a free case review to determine your legal options.
What Critical Information Do You Need From the Other Driver?
Knowing what to do at a car crash scene can be challenging, especially if you or others are injured. It is natural to feel upset or experience shock and trauma after a significant accident. However, remember to collect critical information from the other drivers involved in the accident. If you are receiving medical assistance, ask someone else to gather the vital details. In the worst-case scenario, the other driver might drive off, never to be seen or heard of again, leaving you without recourse.
The critical information you need from all involved drivers in a crash includes:
- Full name and contact information of the driver
- If the other driver used a work vehicle, the name and address of the employer
- The insurance company and policy number
- The driver’s license number
- The name and contact details of the insured, if different from the driver
- License plate details
Make sure you get this information from all the drivers involved in the crash, if possible. In addition to these details, note down the exact location of the accident, date and time, and weather conditions. Since it may not be possible to immediately determine who is responsible for the accident, you will need everyone’s contact and insurance details.
Protect Your Rights When Exchanging Information
Protecting your rights is vital when exchanging contact details with other drivers after a collision. Be careful not to say anything that others could interpret as admitting fault, such as: “I did not see you coming.” When filing an insurance claim, the insurer will scrutinize all aspects of the crash to determine liability, including vehicle damage and verbal or written information from all parties. The adjuster could use anything you said at the crash scene against you. Therefore, try to limit conversations to exchanging contact and insurance details while at the accident scene.
Prioritize Your Health and Safety
Car crashes can be chaotic, and emotions may run high. In this highly charged situation, you must avoid all verbal or physical confrontations with other drivers. Engaging with aggressive or belligerent individuals could put your legal rights and, most importantly, your health and safety at risk. If others act aggressively, try to remove yourself to a safe distance and wait for law enforcement to arrive.
What to Do If You Have No Information From the Other Drivers?
Not everything goes to plan at a car crash scene. Drivers may flee the scene, or you might be severely injured without a chance to collect any information. However, not all is lost in these situations.
You Experienced a Hit and Run
Being involved in a hit and run can be devastating, especially if the fleeing driver caused the accident. You may think you have no chance of recovering an insurance settlement from the at-fault party, but this is not necessarily true. Your best step is to call law enforcement immediately, as police may be able to track down the fleeing driver. Try to write down any crucial details, such as:
- The make, model, and color of the car
- Marks or damage on the vehicle
- A detailed description of the driver
- Details of the fleeing driver’s license plate
If there are any eyewitnesses to the crash, ask them for their names and contact details as they may be vital for your case. Anything you or eyewitnesses remember, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time, could help law enforcement find and identify the hit-and-run driver.
You Were Unable to Collect Other Drivers’ Details at the Accident Scene
Severely injured car crash victims may not get the opportunity to collect information from other drivers at the crash scene. You could ask other car occupants or bystanders to help gather the names and contact information of the other parties. However, if the police attended the accident, officers will have made an accident report which should contain all the vital information, including other parties’ names, contact details, and insurance information. Therefore, victims could get all the critical information from the police.
The Other Driver Refused to Provide Information
While parties to a car accident are usually reasonable, not everyone will cooperate. If the other driver is uncooperative and refuses to give their details, call the police immediately. If you feel unsafe, consider returning to your vehicle and locking the doors. If you can do so without putting yourself in any danger, snap some pictures of the other driver, their car, and their license plate. These details are crucial and can help the police if the other driver leaves the scene before the officers arrive.
Morgan & Morgan Is on Your Side
If you were recently involved in a crash and are wondering: “What information should I obtain from the other driver immediately following a car accident?” Morgan & Morgan can help. Getting adequately compensated for your car accident injuries and financial losses can be a challenge. However, we can be by your side and fight for what you need to get your life back on track. You only pay us if we win. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out more.