You know the drill after an auto crash, heart stopping panic, and then, especially if there’s major damage or a serious injury, exchanging names, addresses and insurance information with the other driver. Easy, right?
However, if the other driver refuses to provide these particulars (or you’re so shaken that you forget to ask for them), you could end up in serious financial, or even legal, trouble.
Dan Young, Senior Vice President of Insurance Relations for CARSTAR warns, “[After an accident] sometimes drivers just don’t do what they’re supposed to do.”
To make sure you’re prepared for such a mishap, follow these guidelines:
- Remain at the scene. Although state laws differ, failure to exchange information or notify police can lead to a hit-and-run charge or loss of your license.
- Keep a “cheat sheet” in your glove compartment about what to ask after an accident.
- Use your cellphone to take a photo of the other vehicle, (preferably showing its license plate) as visual proof of the incident.
- Write down details. As soon as you and your vehicle are out of traffic and harm’s way, record the date and time, location, make and model of the cars and actions or statements by the other driver.
- Ask any bystanders or eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
In the meantime, review your auto policy to make sure that you carry: 1) collision coverage, which will pay for repairing your car and providing a replacement vehicle, if needed and 2) uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance (UM/UIM), which will cover damages for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
For more information, feel free to get in touch with our agency.