April 27th, 2020|
Whether you forgot to collect the other driver’s insurance information at the scene, lost it after the fact, or were the victim of a hit-and-run, you might be wondering how to obtain someone else’s car insurance information.
The access you have to this information depends on the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look.
How to Get Someone’s Car Insurance Information After a Crash
There are three main approaches to obtaining this information.
- You can exchange information with the other driver.
- You can find basic information by referencing the police report.
- You or your attorney can request the information through a lawsuit discovery process.
Let’s dig into each of these three approaches.
Exchanging information with the other driver. This is the most common way that people get someone’s car insurance information. Exchanging information should always be done after a crash, and the other driver should be compliant.
Referencing the police report. Immediately after a collision, the police respond to the scene to file an accident report. While completing this report, the responding officer will write down the insurance information of each driver involved in the accident. If the officer filing the report doesn’t give you a copy of the report in person, you can get a copy by submitting a request to the police department. You can do this yourself or, if you’ve hired an attorney, they can request the information on your behalf.
Requesting the information through a lawsuit discovery process. If you file a lawsuit, you or your attorney can request the information as part of the discovery process of that legal action.
It’s worth noting that your own insurer can also be useful in this process. After you report the crash to your insurance company, which you should do as soon as possible after the wreck, your insurer will seek more details about the scope of the other driver’s policy.
How to Get Someone’s Insurance Information if There is No Crash
If there’s no accident, and you’re simply wanting to get someone’s info for some other reason, you’ll most likely be out of luck. The details of a person’s vehicle insurance policy are private, so you won’t get access to this information unless you have a valid legal reason to obtain it.
What Information Should You Gather After a Car Accident?
The more information you obtain, the easier the claims process will be. If possible, get the following information from the other driver (and any passengers):
- Phone number
- Insurance provider
- Insurance policy number
- License number
- Registration information
- Vehicle make and model
- License plate number
At the bare minimum, you want the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance policy. You can also note the location and time of the crash. If there were any witnesses to the crash, gather their names and contact information.
What if the Other Driver Refuses to Give You Insurance Details?
If the other driver refuses to give insurance details, notify the police. The police officer who responds to the scene will have taken their insurance information to put in their report, which means you will have access to the information you need to file a claim.
Does a Police Report Include Insurance Information?
Yes, the police report will include insurance information of all the drivers involved in the accident. It will also contain any relevant facts uncovered by the responding officer, including the date, time, weather conditions, crash diagrams, vehicle damage, and any violations of the drivers. In some cases, the police report includes the opinions of the officer.
It’s important to obtain a copy of the police report after a crash. The report is an information-rich document that is essential for any claims that stem from the crash.
Getting Insurance Information After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Getting insurance information after a hit-and-run is difficult. If you managed to obtain the vehicle’s license plate number, you can report it to the police. Even if you don’t get the license plate, providing the police with the vehicle type and color can help identify the driver.
If you have no information about the hit-and-run driver, you should still notify the police (hit-and-runs are misdemeanor crimes in California) and your insurance company. Hit-and-run victims can often get compensation from their own insurance companies when the identities of the other drivers are unknown.
If you’re enjoying this blog, you might also be interested in these resources:
- Does Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim Affect Your Insurance Rates?
- How to NOT Get Taken Advantage of by Insurance Companies
- Subrogation: Why Your Insurance Company Could Take Your Settlement Money
When to Contact an Attorney for Help
If you’ve been involved in a crash, it never hurts to explore your legal options. The greater your damages, the greater your need for experienced legal representation.
Remember that the other driver’s insurance provider will seek every opportunity to lessen the perceived fault of their policyholder. If possible, they’ll shift blame onto you and look for ways to deny you the compensation you deserve.
However, each step of the claims process, beginning with the information-gathering process immediately following the crash, also presents you with opportunities to build a solid case for compensation. By contacting an attorney early in the process, you’ll maximize your chances of getting the total compensation you need.
If You Need an Attorney, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers
The California auto accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers know what to do after an accident. The sooner you put us on your case, the more work we can take off your plate. Whether you were recently involved in a crash or you are partway into the claims process, contact a lawyer for help.
If you need assistance getting someone’s insurance information or you want someone to handle correspondence with the other driver’s insurer, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.