How to Get Insurance Info After an Accident if the Other Driver Refuses in CA
If you were in a car accident with another vehicle in California, the drivers of both vehicles are required to stop, render aid, and exchange identifying information. That information includes the name and address of each driver, their driver’s license number, their vehicle identification number, as well as evidence of “financial responsibility.” Financial responsibility means the driver’s insurance card or other equivalent information (certificate of self-insurance or proof that the car is government-owned).
Now, not everyone actually follows the law. What if someone hits you and then drives off? What if they give you some of their information but do not give you their insurance? Are you out of luck, forced to deal with your property damage and injury costs on your own? Below, we offer some tips on what to do when a driver refuses to follow the law and give you their insurance info. Call a knowledgeable Lancaster car accident lawyer if you or someone you love has been hurt by a negligent driver in Los Angeles or the Antelope Valley.
If you are physically capable of doing so after an accident, try to snap a few pictures of the other car with your phone. Assuming the other vehicle has not already fled the scene, take pictures sufficient to show the make and model of the vehicle as well as the license plate number. Take pictures of the surrounding area, too, in case there’s a traffic camera or other tool that may assist you down the line. It’s also useful to take pictures of your vehicle, your injuries, and the surrounding circumstances (weather, intersection, etc.), which may be useful in your eventual claim.
If you can’t take pictures because you don’t have a working phone or the driver already left, write down what you can identify and/or remember. Write down a description of their vehicle, any part of the license plate you can remember, and a physical description of the other driver. These will help in your ultimate investigation.
Collect Witness Information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Ask if they recall any useful details, including the make and model of the vehicle or the license plate number. Write these details down to help you track down information later. Encourage these witnesses to stay at the scene and cooperate with the police investigation.
If you’ve been in an accident, you should report it to the proper authorities. If the other driver is being uncooperative, or if they committed a hit-and-run and left, all the more reason to call the police. Ask the dispatcher to send an officer to the scene to generate a report. If the other driver is still present, the police will request proof of insurance from the other driver, or they will pull it up by using the vehicle’s license plate.
Cooperate with the investigation by providing the details you recall about the other vehicle and the other driver; the police may be able to track them down. Make sure to keep a copy of the police report.
Getting the Insurance Information From the DMV
If you have enough identifying information (the license plate number, the name of the driver, the driver’s license number), you can file a form with the DMV requesting the driver’s insurance information.
Talk to a Lawyer
You’ll want to call a personal injury lawyer soon after your accident if you hope to recover full compensation from the other driver and their insurance. If you are having trouble tracking down the other driver’s insurance info, your lawyer can conduct an investigation and see what they can turn up. They may be able to identify the other driver with the evidence you’ve provided, the police report, and other possible evidence such as traffic cameras or security cameras located nearby the accident.
If you or someone you care about has been injured or killed in a car accident in Southern California, talk to an experienced and trial-ready Lancaster traffic accident attorney about pursuing a claim for damages by calling the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.