After an accident resulting in property damage or injuries, the drivers of all vehicles involved are legally expected to remain on the scene to exchange information with the other drivers involved. Among the information that drivers are required to exchange is their insurance information so that claims for compensation can be filed. However, what happens if you forgot to collect this information, the other driver refused to provide it to you, or the accident was a hit-and-run.
The experienced car accident attorneys from Morris Bart have experience in helping clients track down insurance information after the fact, and we are happy to provide that assistance.
Four Ways to Get Insurance Information After You’ve Left the Scene
Having the at-fault party’s insurance information is crucial if you have been injured in an accident and wish to file a claim. This is because their auto liability insurance policy is the likely source of compensation you receive. Here are four ways to obtain this information after you’ve already left the scene.
From the Other Party
Often, individuals know they need to exchange information after an accident, but they are unsure of what information is needed. This can result in a person having the name and contact information but not the insurance policy. If you have the name and contact information of the driver, you or your attorney can contact them and request the information.
From a Police Report of the Accident
Accidents involving injuries almost always require an investigation by the local police department. This investigation includes taking down the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved, interviewing those drivers and witnesses about what happened, and providing details as to the date, time, and location of the accident.
Individuals who have been involved in an accident should always request the investigating officer’s name and badge number and inquire as to how to obtain a copy of the police report. If you did not get the insurance information yourself, and you are unable to contact the other driver, the police report is the first place you should look.
From the Police After a Hit-and-Run
Hit-and-run accidents are difficult from an insurance standpoint, as there is often not enough information to immediately identify the driver, much less the provider of their liability insurance policy. The police, however, will still show up to investigate the scene, will still make an accident report, and will also be on the lookout for the driver. Any information the claimant or eyewitnesses are able to gather at the scene can be helpful to the police, including a license plate number or a partial number, or even the type of vehicle they were driving when the accident occurred.
If the driver is caught, the police can obtain the insurance information for the claimant or their attorney.
With the Help of an Attorney or through Your Own Insurance Company
If a driver refused to provide their insurance information to you, your attorney or your own insurance company may be able to help. If you have the name of the driver, the attorney can research to assemble enough information to file a lawsuit. During the lawsuit discovery process, the attorney can attempt to obtain information about any liability insurance that the driver has.
You will need to report the accident to your own insurance company, and they will also take action to try to obtain this information.
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What If the Driver Turns Out to Be Uninsured?
Being injured due to the negligence of an uninsured driver is a difficult situation. If you have the name of the driver, you can file a lawsuit against them. However, many people who do not have insurance also cannot afford to compensate an individual for car accident expenses out-of-pocket. There are certain methods that can be used to collect the compensation that is owed to you, such as wage garnishment.
Your own insurance policies can also provide compensation for certain expenses. Policies to consider include uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, collision, or even your own health insurance policy.
What If You Changed Your Mind?
It is not uncommon for two drivers involved in an accident to give their vehicles a quick look-over, determine they’re not seriously injured, and make the decision not to involve insurance or the police, and perhaps even to work out the damages privately. Hours later, after the adrenaline rush has worn off, one of the drivers realizes they’re more seriously injured than they initially thought. What now?
A word of caution: In some states, if you fail to notify the police of an accident within 24 hours, you could face a fine or even jail time. Additionally, if you fail to contact your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible, it could result in a denial of any claim you make against your own policies or even cancellation of those policies.
If you have the contact information of the other party, you can provide that to your insurance provider or an experienced attorney and they will know what to do.
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Let Us Help You with Your Claim
Morris Bart is one of the most prestigious law firms across the Gulf Coast, helping those who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence for more than 40 years. If you live in the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, or Mississippi, we can provide information about the process of seeking compensation for your injuries, and can even offer services to assist you, such as finding out the insurance information of the other driver who was involved in your accident.
Accidents are chaotic and the information you need to file your claim isn’t always easy to obtain. Let us help. For your free case evaluation, contact us online.
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