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More than half of all drivers will be involved in a collision at some point, so it’s essential that you know what to do if it happens to you. Your top priority after any accident is to seek medical attention for yourself and for anyone else who was injured. Even if nobody appears to have been severely hurt, you should still contact the police so an officer can attend the scene and create an accident report.
Before you leave the scene, be sure to exchange insurance information with all other drivers involved in the crash. Without their information, it will be difficult to file a claim with your insurance agency. You should also take photos of any injuries, traffic signs, property damage and skid marks, and write down the contact details of eyewitnesses.
4 Potential Outcomes If You Don’t Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Information
Here are four potential scenarios that could play out if you forget to record the other driver’s insurance information or if you are a victim of a hit and run:
- You could track down the driver. In this case, you would have to file a police report to track down the driver at fault. If found, he or she would be charged with a hit-and-run;
- You could be covered through your insurance company. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may be able to cover your auto repair and medical expenses without the other driver’s insurance;
- You could be covered by a charitable organization. There are several organizations that help victims of hit-and-runs recover compensation. Reach out to one after you file a police report; or
- You could have to pay out of pocket.
Avoid putting yourself in debt by making sure you get the information you need from the other driver or drivers involved in the crash, and by investing in uninsured motorist coverage.
Information You’ll Need from the Other Driver
Getting insurance information after a car accident is standard practice, but the conversation may still be a little awkward. When you’re speaking with the other driver, you may be tempted to apologize or take blame for the crash.
Do not do this.
Apologizing could put unnecessary liability on yourself when you should be focused on gathering simple information instead. Be sure to record the following details from the other driver:
- Phone number;
- Insurance company;
- Insurance policy number; and
- Driver’s license number.
You should also photograph or write down the license plate number.
What If the Other Driver Refuses to Share Insurance Information?
If the driver refuses to give you the above information, notify the police right away. You should also notify your insurance company.
Did we miss any important points? Feel free to share your insights in the Comments section below.