Emotions can run high in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. Both drivers may be feeling the effects of adrenaline, as well as stress, tension and frustration about the situation. Some drivers may react to a car accident by getting defensive or hostile. This can result in a driver refusing to share his or her insurance information at the scene of the accident. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. You can still get the information that you need even if the other driver does not cooperate.
Is a Driver Legally Obligated to Provide Insurance Information?
Drivers often exchange information at the scenes of car accidents. This is the easiest way to resolve issues, such as who will pay for property damage. Many states even make it a legal requirement to stay at the scene of a car accident until certain information has been exchanged. In Texas, Section 550.023 of the Transportation Code
states that all drivers must exchange the following information after a car accident that results in property damage, injury or death:
- The operator’s name and address
- The registration number of the vehicle being driven
- The name of the operator’s motor vehicle liability insurer
- The driver’s license, if requested and available
In addition, a driver is legally obligated to provide any injured person with reasonable assistance, such as calling 911 and requesting an ambulance or transporting the person to the nearest hospital. Note that the requirement to exchange information still exists if a driver hits a parked car. In this case, the driver must leave the required information in a note that is placed in a conspicuous location on the car. If the other driver refuses to obey this law, do not take it upon yourself to force him or her to comply. Instead, let the police handle it.
What to Do if the Other Driver Refuses to Give You Insurance Information
Ideally, the other driver at the scene of your car accident will be willing to cooperate and give you his or her name, contact information and insurance information. The other driver should also let you see his or her driver’s license, if you ask. Unfortunately, you cannot control how other drivers will react to car accidents or your requests for information. You may come across a driver who refuses to share information with you. In this scenario, take the following actions:
- Stay calm. While a lack of cooperation by the other driver is not the best-case scenario, it will not interfere with your insurance claim if you take the correct steps.
- Report the car accident to the police. The other driver will be much less likely to refuse to give information to a law enforcement officer. You can then obtain a copy of the police report to get the driver’s information later.
- Write down everything. Even if the other driver refuses to give you any information, you can still write down your observations, such as the make, model and color of the other driver’s vehicle; its license plate numbers; and eyewitness information.
- Get a copy of the police report. In the days following your accident, call the police department in the county where the crash took place and give them your police report number to obtain a copy. This report should have the other driver’s insurance information.
- Call your own car insurance company. Call your own car insurance provider to report the accident right away. Follow up to give them more complete information once you get the other driver’s insurance carrier and policy number from the police report.
From there, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Dallas
to explore your legal options. Your lawyer can help you get the information that you need about the other driver involved in your car accident, including his or her insurance information. Then, your lawyer can take over the insurance claims process on your behalf to pursue fair financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance company for your injuries and expenses.