Car accidents can be stressful occurrences, especially if you were not at-fault. Under California law, you must collect the at-fault driver’s insurance information in order to collect compensatory damages for your losses, such as medical expenses and property damages.
However, if the other driver refuses to give insurance information or does not have insurance, the experience causes more issues. What do you do when you do not know the at-fault driver’s insurance information?
First Steps After an Accident
To avoid this situation, do not leave the scene of the accident without asking for the driver’s information. Always ask the at-fault driver for his or her insurance information, including the company name, policy number, and expiration date.
Always call 911 to report an accident. The responding police officer will file an accident report, which will include the at-fault driver’s insurance information. If the at-fault driver refuses to provide his or her information to you, he or she will not have the same success with a police officer. You should always file an accident report, even if minor damage occurred.
Finding Car Insurance Information After a Hit-And-Run
If you were involved in a hit-and-run, collecting this information becomes even more difficult. Before the driver flees the scene, try your best to remember the license plate number and make and model of the car. Record the information in your phone or on a note and call 911. When you give this information to the police, they will be able to search for the driver and find his or her insurance information.
Finding Car Insurance Information Through the Insurance Company
If the at-fault driver only provides you with the name of his or her insurance company, you can contact the company afterward. The driver may provide basic details and disappear after admitting fault. When you call the insurance company, make sure to provide them with the police report and other supporting documents.
How to Find Car Insurance Information Through the DMV
If you were not able to collect the at-fault driver’s insurance information before he or she left the scene and do not have access to law enforcement assistance, you can still find out his or her insurance information. Your local DMV office can provide you with this information if you have a valid reason.
Contact your local DMV office and file a request for information. You will need to provide the DMV with your personal information and a reason for the request. Remember to provide accurate information – the DMV may deny the request otherwise.
What If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
Under California law, drivers must carry a certain amount of insurance coverage in case of an accident. However, estimates indicate as many as 15% of California drivers may not have any insurance. If the at-fault driver in your accident does not have insurance, you can take the following actions:
- You may have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage under your insurance policy. This insurance compensates your losses after you get into an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. Contact your insurer to ask about your coverage options under your current plan.
- If you do not have insurance coverage for uninsured drivers, contact a Long Beach car accident attorney. He or she can pursue aggressive legal action against the at-fault driver to secure damages on your behalf.
If you are still having difficulty finding the insurance information of the at-fault driver, contact an attorney for additional assistance. Your attorney will have the resources necessary to find the insurance information and negotiate with insurance companies to release the details of the policy.