After an auto wreck, you will need to exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved, since the insurance company of the driver at fault will need to pay for the property damage and medical expenses of the people injured.

However, after a crash, things can get tense and even argumentative. There is a possibility that the other driver will be uncooperative and refuse to give you their insurance information. It is also possible that you are unable to get information because you or the other driver are being tended to for injuries. If that happens, you are NOT simply out of luck for getting the compensation you need. You have options to get this information later, so you can still pursue compensation from their insurance.

Use the Police Report

First, it is illegal in both Georgia and Alabama to leave the scene of a car crash without filing a police report if there are any injuries or vehicle damage. While the other driver may refuse to give you their insurance information, they cannot refuse to give it to the police. You are entitled to a copy of the police report, which will include this information. Always call the police and take photographs of relevant information.

If you don’t receive a copy of the information exchange at the scene, you can request a copy from the police department later. You can do this yourself or have your lawyer do it for you.

What If They Left Before the Police Arrived?

If the other driver leaves without waiting for the police to arrive, even if they initially stopped, the crash will be treated as a hit-and-run. If the crash resulted in a serious injury and the other driver still leaves without waiting to file a police report, they can be charged with a felony!

When the police do eventually arrive, make sure to insist on filing a police report and provide a full description of the other driver and their vehicle, plus whatever other information they may have provided to you. Make sure you have taken photographs and identified witnesses (even cameras) at the scene.

If the driver can be located, you can get their insurance information then. If they can’t be located, you may be forced to use your own uninsured motorist coverage to cover your vehicle damage and injuries.

Put Your Own Insurance on the Case

Even if the other driver’s insurance can’t be found out, you can use your own insurance to pay for your damages. Your insurance does not want to do this, especially if the other driver is clearly at fault, so they will be motivated to find out the details of the at-fault driver’s insurance to make their insurer pay instead. Always put your insurance company on notice even if you don’t THINK you may need to use that coverage. Sometimes things change.

Get Their Insurance Information Through the Discovery Process

If you still can’t get their insurance information to file a claim, you may need to proceed directly to a lawsuit. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit (when evidence and facts around the case are collected), you or your lawyer can request this information from the other driver. (There are also some services which MAY be able to provide coverage information, but the only sure-fire way is to file suit).

While you can sue the other driver directly, it is usually better to try to get compensation from the insurer because the insurer is more likely to be able to pay. The at-fault driver may not have enough money to cover your medical bills if they are forced to pay out of their own pockets, much less compensate you for your lost wages and pain and suffering.

Can I Find Out Someone Else’s Insurance Information If I Wasn’t in a Crash with Them?

Insurance information is considered private information, so unless you have a valid legal reason to request it, such as needing it to file a claim after a wreck, you probably won’t be able to obtain this information.

After a Wreck, Get Gary Bruce

When you’ve been involved in a crash, you should always explore your legal options, especially if that crash left you with injuries and it looks like the other driver or their insurance is going to refuse to pay.

Even when the at-fault driver’s insurance can be discovered, it’s important to remember that insurers will find every excuse possible to lessen their policyholder’s share of blame so they can avoid paying you what you are owed. In fact, in Alabama, if the other side can pin even 1% of fault for the crash on you, then they won’t have to pay you anything at all! And they try this tactic all of the time.

Working with an experienced car crash lawyer who knows the laws and loopholes in Georgia and Alabama can help ensure you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve. If you need assistance getting another driver’s insurance information after a crash or if you need help negotiating with that insurer, we want to help. Contact the Law Offices of Gary Bruce today for a free consultation.