Car accidents can really cause quite a headache. If you’re unexpectedly involved in a San Diego crash you’ll have a lot on your plate. If someone else is responsible for your accident, they should be held financially responsible for any costs that you have. In most cases, that person’s insurance company will take over negotiations and settle the matter with you privately.
What happens, though, when you don’t have the at-fault driver’s insurance information? This can cause quite a few problems and even prevent you from getting the money you deserve after your accident. It’s important to know how you can try to find that person’s insurance information after your accident.
Call Police and Stay at the Scene
The best way to get another driver’s insurance information is to call the police and remain at the scene after the accident. When police arrive, they will complete an accident report that will include the insurance information of everyone involved. When you get a copy of this report, the other driver’s insurance information will be in your hands.
Some drivers may try to convince you to settle the matter privately without involving the police. They may even offer to write down their insurance information for you to make things easier. This can be problematic for a few reasons.
First, there is no guarantee that the information the other driver provides is complete, accurate, or true. When an officer collects the information, they will make sure that all documents are valid and copied correctly.
Second, calling the police is an important step in preserving evidence relevant to your accident. If you do not call the police, you may allow valuable evidence to disappear and jeopardize your future legal claim.
Third, you may be legally required to report the accident to the DMV. California law requires that all accidents involving an injury or property damage exceeding $1,000 be reported to the state on Form SR-1. Failure to report an accident can have serious consequences.
What If I’m in a Hit and Run Accident?
Sometimes a driver will flee the scene after an accident before you have the opportunity to exchange information or wait for police. When this happens, it is important to remember as much as you can about the driver, vehicle, and license plate. The more details you can recall, the easier it will be to track down the hit and run driver. Try to take photographs of the car and remember as much of the license plate as you can. Once you have these details in hand, you have a few different options.
Call the Police
Call police immediately after your accident and report the hit and run incident. Provide the officers with as many details as you can so that they can locate the other driver. Once the hit and run driver is located, police will be able to relay relevant insurance information to you.
Visit the DMV
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles may also be able to help you locate the hit and run driver. When you arrive, simply explain that you’re the victim of a hit and run accident and provide the agent with any details about the vehicle and license plate that you have. The agency has the authority to hand over insurance information if they believe your story is true.
Call the Insurance Company
If the DMV or police are able to give you insurance information, but you cannot get a hold of the driver, you can contact his or her insurance company directly. Explain that you’ve been injured and/or sustained property damage because of one of their insured drivers and ask to open a claim.
Insurance companies will be hesitant to open or discuss a claim without proof that their insured driver is involved. Hiring an attorney to help you through this process will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, our personal injury attorneys have excellent relationships with some of the best investigators in San Diego. We can use our contacts to locate your hit and run driver, establish fault, and pursue compensation on your behalf. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin to work on your personal injury case. The money we recover on your behalf can be helpful in paying for the replacement or repair of damaged property, covering medical bills, and compensating you for the emotional distress caused by the hit and run incident.
Call our San Diego car accident attorneys today to schedule your free case evaluation. We will fight to help you get the money you need and deserve after your crash.