What Information Should You Exchange in a Car Accident?
What information should you exchange in a car accident includes your driver’s license, which contains your name and address, your vehicle registration number, your insurance card, which contains your insurer’s name and contact details, and your policy number. This information should be shared with the at-fault driver and the responding police officer.
A car accident is a traumatic event that can leave you shaken and unsure of what to do in the immediate aftermath. You should always call the local police to initiate a police report and document important details immediately after an accident. The resulting exchange of information allows our team to pursue the driver and his insurance company for financial compensation.
Your Exchange of Information Is Important
In addition to exchanging information, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends doing the following after a traffic accident, if possible, if your injuries do not prevent you from doing so:
- Writing down the accident’s exact location
- Writing down road and weather conditions
- Taking pictures of all involved vehicles
Most people today carry smartphones. If possible, use yours to note witness details. If passersby use theirs to note any details of the accident, make the police aware so that they can include these details in your car accident report. In addition, exchanging information and filing a police report works in your favor. Doing so avoids any allegations the other involved driver might make that you fled the scene or otherwise shirked your responsibility.
Your car accident report will contain all the information you exchange at the accident scene. In addition, it will contain information that helps our team establish the accident’s cause and contributing factors. Details we pull from your car accident report include:
- Witness statements and contact information
- Whether alcohol or drug intoxication was involved
- Traffic tickets or violations issued to the at-fault driver
- Police and accident reconstructionist photos
- The investigating police officer’s narrative
While you recover from the accident, we will go to work on your case. Doing so means you do not lose valuable investigation time. It also means you do not risk failing to comply with your state’s statute of limitations, which could be costly.
Witness statements after a car accident can be a valuable form of evidence. They provide an unbiased point of view that can substantiate your version of the events that led to the collision. Witnesses can provide different perspectives from varying viewpoints. They can also:
- Include photographic evidence
- Attest to the at-fault driver’s actions
- Attest to the investigator’s actions
- Attest to your initial injury status
Our team will contact and interview witnesses on your behalf. Witness statements carry the weight of objectivity and can be a valuable part of your evidence file.
Leave the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company to Us
Because the information you exchanged will include contact information for the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you might be tempted to report their policyholder’s accident to them. Instead, you can let our personal injury team handle the insurance issues. On your behalf, we will:
- Inform the insurance company of the accident
- Assign a value to your injuries and related damages
- Obtain, complete, and submit required claim forms
- Handle all communications and correspondence
We will also represent you throughout the settlement negotiation process. We will field all settlement offers, share them with you, and advise you on their feasibility. We will make recommendations, but it is your decision to accept or decline an offer. Our goal is to fight for an optimal outcome and help you make a well-thought-out decision.
How and When to Exchange Information
The time after an accident can be stressful and confusing, and this can make it challenging to know how and when to exchange information. We recommend calling the police to the accident scene immediately to help facilitate a safe exchange of information. We also recommend:
- Waiting for the police to arrive before you leave your car or exchange information if the other driver is behaving aggressively
- Sharing your information with the local police and filing a car accident report if you were the victim of a hit-and-run driver
- Remaining calm, cool, and collected when exchanging information with the other driver
We take pride in creating a legal and supportive atmosphere that puts our clients first. Learn more about the Distasio Personal Touch and our history of results on our case results page, and see why our clients always come first.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, our personal injury team will explain the value of the information you exchanged after the car accident. We also help you use that information to fight for financial compensation. Find out how by calling one of our Distasio Law Firm team members at (813) 259-0022 today.