If Another Driver Hit You, Here’s How to Get Their Insurance Information
Following a car accident, every driver involved is required to make sure the other drivers are safe, contact the police, and share their driver’s license information with each other. However, California law does not require drivers to share insurance information, which is vital if any of them wish to file an auto accident claim against the other.
This means that a driver may refuse to give you his insurance. In addition, in a hit-and-run accident, you will be left wondering if the other driver even has insurance and how you can file a claim. But you still have options.
Why You Need the Other Driver’s Insurance Policy
California drivers are required to have minimum liability policies in place to protect any people they hurt in an accident. When a collision occurs, each driver can file a claim against the other’s insurance policy to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage. In a perfect world, drivers would freely share their insurance information with each other so they could both file a claim without any hassle.
Unfortunately, there are drivers who will refuse to share their insurance information or who do not have insurance. While California Vehicle Code 20002 VC does require drivers to share their driver’s license or another form of identification after a crash, it does not require them to share insurance information. However, so long as you report the accident to the police, they can request proof of insurance from the other driver or pull it up through the vehicle’s license plate. This information should be included in a copy of your accident report, which you can request from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department or California Highway Patrol.
In the case of a hit-and-run accident, you may have a more difficult time determining if the other driver was insured. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company instead of the other driver’s, but it can still benefit you to acquire the other driver’s insurance information, if possible. If you were able to take a photo or write down the other driver’s license plate number, you may be able to have the police track down their insurance policy for you.
But you can also look up this information on your own, which may be useful if the police delay in providing you with an update.
How to Access a Negligent Driver’s Policy
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to access and retrieve any registered California driver’s insurance information. If you were injured by another driver, you may request the insurance information of the at-fault driver by submitting form SR19C to your local DMV office. SR19C, also known as a Financial Responsibility Information Request form, requires you to submit the other driver’s license number and/or license plate to track down their information. If you have either piece of information, you may be able to determine if the driver has insurance or not.
Identifying the other driver’s insurer is key to filing an auto accident claim. If the other driver has insurance, you will be able to file a claim against it for compensation. However, if the driver is uninsured, you may need to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. This process can be just as difficult as filing with another driver’s insurance company, which is why you should reach out to an experienced OC personal injury attorney at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie to discuss your case.
We can thoroughly review the details of your accident, including both the other driver’s and your own insurance information, and explain how you can receive compensation for your injuries. To get started on your claim, call our office at (949) 752-7474 and schedule a free consultation.
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