Immediately following an accident, it can be quite tense and emotional, with a great deal of confusion. In these stressful circumstances, sometimes the other driver can make the situation even worse by refusing to give up their identifying information and insurance details. If you find yourself in this position, it’s good to know what to do to get the information you need.
Report the Accident to the Police
The first step you should take is calling 911 to report the accident. This should happen even prior to exchanging information. This is critical to ensuring that there is immediate documentation of the accident. The police will build a report with details including the time and place of the accident, contact information for both parties, road conditions at the time, and any potential contributing factors to the accident. The police can also obtain any necessary information the other party is unwilling to provide you.
Remain Calm Until the Police Arrive
When the other driver is not being cooperative, it’s important that you don’t get flustered and escalate the situation. Wait for the authorities to arrive and handle it for you. There’s no reason to enhance an already-stressful situation and put yourself at risk of an altercation. You can talk to any witnesses who happened to be around while you are waiting, or take pictures of the scene to keep for documentation.
Once the police arrive, the other driver cannot legally refuse to provide the information to them, so just be patient.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Agency as Well as the Other Driver’s
Once you’ve finally secured the other driver’s information, you can get in touch with the proper parties to file a claim. Give them all of the information they request and they will help determine who was at fault based on various factors surrounding the incident.
Dealing With Uninsured Or Underinsured Drivers
It is possible that the driver’s reasoning for not wanting to hand over their information is because they do not have insurance or their policy will not cover the damage done to your vehicle and any medical bills. While it is illegal to drive without auto liability insurance in Colorado, many people still do. In this case, you need to review your own insurance policy to see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not have this, monetary recovery may be impossible without a lawsuit.
An experienced Fort Collins auto accident attorney can help you navigate the claims process, as well as any other legal avenues that need to be pursued.