If you are involved in an auto accident and the other driver does not provide auto insurance information, all hope is not lost. Just because you do not get the other driver’s insurance information right away is not a guarantee you will be on the hook for all the resulting costs. Do not get angry just because the other driver refuses to provide his or her insurance information. Here is a quick look at what you should do in this situation.
Contact the Authorities Right Away
Contact the police right away so a police officer can head out to the site of the accident. Contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. The police will create and file an official accident report so there is a paper trail. The police might also help you procure the other driver’s auto insurance information and other essential information. The officer should take statements from each of the drivers.
Even if the other driver is uninsured, you can still file a claim with your auto insurance provider. Reach out to your insurance provider after you contact the police, explain what happened and get the wheels in motion. Tell your insurer the other driver refused to provide insurance information and you might end up merely paying a deductible.
Document the Accident on Your Own
There is no guarantee the police will show up after you contact them. If you are physically capable of documenting the accident scene with your smartphone, digital camera or even pen and paper, do so. This way, if the police officer does not show or if he or she does not document the accident in as much detail as necessary, you will have your own records. Be sure to write down the other driver’s vehicle make, model, color and license plate number. If there are any witnesses around, flag them down and write/record their contact information and full names.
Ask for Legal Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
There is no guarantee you will have to pay for the entirety of the costs stemming from the accident, however you can minimize the potential financial damage by obtaining legal assistance. An attorney will help you prove you were not at fault for the accident and obtain as much financial assistance as possible form the negligent driver. Your attorney can also handle discussions with your auto insurance provider.
Don’t forget that there is also the possibility your auto insurance includes uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is applicable to hit and run auto accidents as well as those in which the other driver stops. Your auto insurance premiums probably won’t spike if you file a claim. Even if your rates go up a bit, you will finally make use of the auto insurance protection you have paid into for years if not decades.
Reasons why Another Driver Won’t Provide Auto Insurance
Though it might seem strange that the other driver does not want to immediately fork over auto insurance details, there are some good reasons for holding this information back. Some such drivers do not have automobile insurance. The car might be stolen. Perhaps the driver’s license is suspended or he or she has been drinking alcohol. Sometimes, an individual with multiple car accidents will not want to report another accident. There is even the chance the driver is worried that reporting the accident to the insurance company will send his or her rates even higher.
Be Polite When Interacting With the Other Driver
Do not let your emotions get the best of you. Resist the temptation to give in to your frustration and lash out in anger. This unfortunate event just might have a happy ending. However, you must remain cool, calm and collected. As noted above, it is in your interest to jot down all the information about the other driver. Politely ask for his or her driver’s license number and the other information noted above. There is no reason to overreact as your auto insurance provider will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle but for the deductible.
Medical treatment for injury and property damage expenses might also be covered through your uninsured motorist coverage. However, if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit against the driver. Lean on a savvy attorney to handle this personal injury lawsuit and you stand a good chance of receiving compensation provided the negligent driver has assets to draw upon or is concealing auto insurance information.
Think Quick and You Might Save Thousands or Tens of Thousands of Dollars
The more decisive you are, the better the chances are to receive the level of compensation necessary to cover expenses. Write down and record just about everything at the accident scene and you will have valuable evidence that identifies the other driver and details the accident. Be as thorough as possible. In fact, it will even help to write down a visual description of the other driver.
Be forthright with your information and your civility just might convince the other driver to provide his or her name and contact information without a lengthy argument. When in doubt, ask for the assistance of an attorney and you will be able to return your life to at least a semblance of normalcy knowing a legal specialist is handling the matter on your behalf.