What Information to Exchange After a Car Accident

by Alex

When you are in a car accident, the law requires that you exchange contact and insurance policy information with the other parties involved in the crash. This information is essential to facilitating financial recovery for those who suffer injury and property damage.

Exchange Contact Information After a Car Crash

Regardless of who was at fault, all parties in a car accident must exchange driver information. You’ll need this information if you want to file a claim against their insurance policy or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The other party will also collect information from you for the same reasons.

This information includes:

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Phone number 
  • Driver license number
  • Vehicle registration information (includes license plate number)
  • Insurance information
  • Email address (optional)

Be certain that you have the full name of the other driver. Do not rely on the name printed on the insurance card. If the driver is using someone else’s vehicle, you could end up accusing the wrong person. However, if they are driving another person’s car, you also want to get the name and contact information of the car’s owner.

Establishing the relationship between the driver and the car’s owner is also a good idea. The driver may not have been legally authorized to operate the vehicle, which could make a difference in your personal injury claim.

Provide the Other Party With Your Insurance Information

After you collect contact info from the other party, you need to exchange insurance information. You may have a valid claim for compensation due to the other driver’s negligence. The law generally requires that you exchange your insurance policy information with the other parties. This includes:

  • Name of the insurance company 
  • Insurance company phone number
  • Insurance policy number

In New York, if you do not collect the insurance info at the scene, you can request it using the Records Request Navigator, per the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. You may also want to ask about the type of insurance policy and the policy limits. The other party may not be willing to provide this information, but if you have the policy number and the name of the insurance company, you should be able to find out. Be aware that the other driver may not have insurance. That does not absolve you from supplying your contact and insurance information to them.

Gather Information About the Car

Having specifics about the other cars involved in the car accident is important for filling out a police report and filing an insurance claim. The details about the vehicle can help you and your attorney determine who caused the crash and verify ownership of the car. You should collect details, such as the car’s make, model, and color. Jot down other notable details that could prove relevant later, such as any broken windows, cracked lights, scratches, dents, or paint inconsistencies.

How Can I Collect Information After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

When it comes to gathering information after a hit-and-run, time is of the essence. If you did not suffer an injury, you must act quickly to capture the license plate number, color, make, model, and any notable traits of the car. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to snap a photo of the car and the license plate, but this may be unreliable, given that photos taken in a hurry are subject to motion blur. Instead, write down this information as quickly as possible using pen and paper or your cell phone.

You won’t be able to exchange information with the other driver in this case, but it is possible to track them down using the car’s details. Police will investigate the crash because it is illegal to flee the scene. If you hire a car accident lawyer to help you recover damages, they can also investigate and help you track down the driver.

Bring the Information You Gather to a Car Accident Lawyer

Any information you gather after a car accident can aid you in filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. The more information you have, the better. If you suffered injuries or property damage in a car accident in New York or New Jersey, Shulman & Hill can help you build a case for financial compensation.

Keep any information you’ve gathered after your car accident on hand, and call us today at 866.932.5558 for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.

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