Of course, no one wants to think about the possibility of being in a car accident, but the chances of being involved in a fatal accident have risen in recent years, reports The LA Times. In fact, nearly 3,000 people die in car accidents every year in California. While many understand their responsibilities after being in an accident - injury, arrests or hostility can affect the process of exchanging insurance information. Our group of Southern California personal injury lawyers formed this guide to help you get the information you need if the other driver is being hostile or getting arrested.
1. Get the License Plate.
If a driver is hostile, you need a way to identify him or her. If they refuse to relinquish insurance information, make sure to write down the license plate number: Police can use it to reverse search the driver's contact information. This step is essential, especially if the other driver is being arrested.
2. Contact Police.
To file an insurance claim, you will need a police report. If police can arrive before the other driver leaves the scene, they can help you collect this information. Furthermore, hostile drivers can be dangerous to confront, so it is best to wait on police to arrive.
3. Do Not Apologize.
The immediate instinct to calm a hostile person is with kindness, but your kindness could turn into an apology. Other drivers may use an apology as proof of your own culpability in an accident. Instead, you need to stay calm while you speak with the other driver in hopes to calm them down.
4. Document the Accident.
Using your smartphone, take pictures of the accident. In fact, taking a short video may help as well. If the driver appears intoxicated or hostile, do your best to document the event. This will help police and insurance adjusters determine fault in the accident. Try to speak with any witnesses nearby, and get their contact information as well.
5. File an Insurance Claim, and Review Your Policy.
Sometimes, a driver may refuse to share information and flee the scene. Some insurance policies may cover hit-and-run scenarios, but others may not. Yet, the situation is not hopeless if you follow these steps to identify the other driver.
Hire a Southern California Personal Injury Lawyer.
If you suffer injuries in a car accident, a hostile or arrested driver could leave you paying for damages and medical bills for years. The good news - a Southern California personal injury lawyer can help you hold uncooperative drivers accountable. For a free case evaluation of your situation, contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers at 1(800) 989-6385 today.