Everyone is always stressed after a car accident. After all, drivers must immediately ensure the safety of their passengers and assess any damage done to their cars. Because of this, it is not uncommon for tensions to be running high during this time. Some drivers may be more hostile than others. They may even get so aggressive that they make it impossible for you to exchange insurance information.
As most people already know, exchanging information is the number one thing to do following an auto accident. Facing a driver who seems determined to make this impossible can exacerbate your already monumental stress. However, this is a possibility you should always be prepared for. Even if you never get the other driver’s insurance information, there is no reason to panic. It may still be possible for you to get all the information you need for your automobile accident claim.
You should always file an accident report with the police, even if you and the other driver have already exchanged insurance information. If it comes down to it, this should actually take priority over exchanging insurance information at all. Having official documentation of the accident can do wonders to help your case. Call the police immediately after your car accident. They will then send an officer to the scene and have them record the following information:
Your insurance company may use the accident report to assist them in determining liability. Because of this, it is important that you be as detailed as possible when describing the accident to the police. At the same time, you will want to make sure that you stick strictly to the facts. It is easy to say things that could be willfully misconstrued as admissions of guilt, particularly in the heat of the moment. Stay impersonal in describing what happened and do not say sorry for something you were not responsible for.
Having the police present may also help to deter any aggression from the other driver. They may also feel more obligated to provide their insurance information. Make sure to cover all your bases to keep yourself and your legal rights protected. In some states, like Colorado, you may even be able to file an accident report online after the fact.
If you are being faced with aggression, you should do everything in your power to remain calm. For many people, the natural reaction may be to cower and to acquiesce to all the other party’s demands. For others, the natural reaction may be to match their energy level. Neither option is a good choice to make. You should never be intimidated into surrendering your legal rights, and matching aggression with aggression has the possibility to only make the whole situation worse. Simply call the police and wait for them to arrive.
After an automobile accident, you should always remember that you are your number one priority. You will not prove anything by getting in a heated argument with the other driver, and you will not gain anything by letting them place all the blame on you. Make sure to begin documenting the incident while you wait for the police to arrive. This involves taking photographs of the accident scene, any injuries you or your passengers suffered, and any damage done (or not done) to all involved vehicles. You may also want to photograph any other relevant objects at the accident scene.
If possible, you will also want to procure a witness. Remember that accident claims have the potential to come down to one person’s word over another’s. You will want to make sure you collect all the evidence you can in order to ensure you are not deemed at fault for something you did not do. Make sure to get the witness’ contact information so you can get in touch with them again in the future. Your insurance agent and/or lawyer will probably want to speak to them, as well.
Whenever you are involved in a car accident, you will want to report it to your insurance company. This is true regardless of whether or not you have the other party’s insurance information. Many insurance policies offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You should check with your insurance agent to make sure this applies to you.
Sometimes, drivers will try to get you to settle the accident without involving the insurance companies. Do not go down this route, as it will leave you essentially on your own if any problems crop up in the future. Remember that many injuries do not make themselves fully known until some time goes by, and that you will essentially be at the mercy of the other driver.
You should also never make the mistake of believing that your insurance company has your best interests at heart. This is true whether or not you were at fault for the accident. At the end of the day, your insurance provider is a business like any other. This means that they have one thing in mind: their own bottom line. They have every reason to minimize the settlement amount they offer you. In fact, insurance companies are notorious for doing so. It can be difficult to even know the true valuation of your claim without the help of a seasoned car accident lawyer.
Fortunately, legal recourse is available. If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help—regardless of whether or not the at-party was insured. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide auto accident attorneys. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.