What to Do If Someone Refuses to Share Insurance Information After an Accident
After a traffic crash, all drivers should exchange auto insurance information. But what if the other driver refuses to provide insurance information to you? Keep reading for advice from the car accident lawyers Earl & Earl, PLLC, about what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
Is it Mandatory to Provide Insurance Information in an Accident?
Yes. Under Colorado law, failing to provide proof of insurance at the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor traffic offense punishable by up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, or both. A motorist in a Colorado crash must present law enforcement with proof of their insurance policy.
How to Handle an Accident Scene Where the Other Driver Is Being Uncooperative
If the other driver is combative when you ask for insurance information, remain calm and call the police. You should always call law enforcement after a crash, and it is especially important if another driver is uncooperative. Take pictures of the other driver’s license plate and note the vehicle’s make and model. You should also take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage and get the contact information of eyewitnesses who saw the crash.
How to Track Down the Other Driver’s Insurance Information
Because drivers involved in car accidents cannot refuse to present proof of insurance to police, you will likely be able to get the other driver’s information from officers who respond to the scene. They can search an insurance database even if the other driver is not carrying proof of insurance in the car.
What Happens if the Other Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?
The other driver may refuse to cooperate with you if they failed to purchase auto insurance or are worried their policy will not cover the cost of your injuries and other losses. However, you should have uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on your own insurance policy unless you opted out. If you have UM/UIM coverage, you can file a claim with your insurer to cover the costs of your medical bills and car repairs up to your policy limits. You could also be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to pursue compensation from them directly.
Reasons Why Drivers May Refuse to Provide Insurance Information
Some of the most common reasons drivers refuse to provide their insurance information after a car accident are:
- They have no insurance.
- They haven’t paid their premiums.
- They don’t want their premiums to increase.
- They have a criminal record.
- They are driving with a suspended license.
- They are driving a stolen vehicle.
- The driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Never start a debate with an uncooperative driver. Just be patient and wait for the police to help resolve the situation. Once you have the motorist’s insurance information, you can begin filing a personal injury claim if necessary.