In short: yes. You can file a claim after a car accident if you don’t have the other driver’s insurance information.
However, trying to recover damages without the other driver’s information is undoubtedly the more difficult path. You will have to file a claim through your own car insurance, and doing so increases the risk of raising your premiums.
That said, there’re some ways you can acquire the other driver’s information if you weren’t able to do so at the scene of the car accident. These steps are part of properly handling the aftermath of a car accident, and can be a safety net in case you aren’t able to get the other driver’s insurance information.
Finding Information on Police Reports
When a police officer files a report on a car accident accident, they make sure to compile all relevant information pertaining to everyone involved in the crash.
This goes beyond simply having contact details for all the drivers. It includes a whole host of other data: diagrams of how the accident occurred (sometimes step-by-step); determinations of which party was most at fault for the accident; statements from eyewitnesses; contributing factors toward the car accident like wet roads, brake failure, or unattended debris or construction leftovers; and—most pertinent to the issue at hand—lists of contact and insurance information for everyone involved.
Even if you’re in a situation where the other driver’s information is not on the police report, it still provides you with evidence backing your claim that you had less fault in the accident.
Say you and the other drivers don’t think the car accident was severe enough to warrant police involvement. It’s still a good idea to make sure everyone’s insurance information swaps hands. Some injuries take a few days or hours to be noticeable, and if you are hurt and the fault of the other driver is in question, you’ll want to recover damages through their insurance.
After a Hit-and-Run
Sometimes it’s impossible to get the other driver’s information because they abandon the scene of the accident. If you find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you must follow specific steps to get the other driver’s information.
First, you have to assemble a profile of the other driver based on as many details you can. Note the make and model of the car and the license plate number if you can. Next, you should call the police and remain on-scene until they arrive.
For evidence, take pictures of the scene and the damage to your car, making sure you document the full extent of the accident. This evidence can give real weight to eyewitness testimony. If you are injured, it goes without saying that you should give your physical health priority over gathering pictures.
It difficult to notice details of other vehicle and its driver in the moment of the car accident—even without being injured. Eyewitness accounts can corroborate, clarify, or fill in the blanks of any details that seem wanting. If anyone saw the accident happen and is willing to give a statement, get their contact information as well.
Should You Contact Your Insurance?
If anyone was injured in the car accident, you should file a claim. That may mean filing a claim with your own insurance if you don’t have the other driver’s information.
Do this as soon as possible after the accident. Delaying your contact gives your insurance company time to minimize the seriousness of your damages and justify a smaller offer. Plus, if the other driver has your insurance information, the last thing you want is them filing a claim against you before you can give your insurance provider a heads-up.
When it comes to property damage-only collisions that result in minor damage like a scraped bumper, your deductible might cost more than the repairs to your vehicle and it might not be worth filing a claim. But that’s up to you.
Bottom line: even if you don’t have the other driver’s contact information, you should file a claim if you were injured in a car accident.
Help from a Car Accident Attorney
Another avenue for recovering the other driver’s information is operating through a car accident attorney. They can track down the person who hit you, even if you only have their name and other contact information. If you can, at the very least, prove the involvement of the driver for whom you have contact information, an attorney can help with the rest.
That’s where Hensley Legal Group can come in.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, and you’re missing their insurance information, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim.