Many drivers in Beverly Hills wonder what they need to do after a car accident. You can always find extensive instructions about what to do at the scene of the accident. One of the most important parts of the immediate post-accident process is when you exchange information with the other driver involved.
No matter how upset or shaken you are after the accident, you still need to deal with the driver at the scene if you are physically able.
The Information That Drivers Must Share After a Car Accident
California law is very clear about a driver’s obligations after a car accident. Under California Vehicle Code 16025, there is an affirmative obligation for drivers to share information with each other after the accident.
The obligations under the law are for drivers to exchange information with the other driver at the scene of the accident. Drivers must share the following information:
- Driver’s name and current residence address
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle identification number
- The current residence address of the registered owner
In addition, the drivers must share evidence of financial responsibility with each other. They must give the name and address of the insurance company and the number of the insurance policy.
There is only one exception to the above requirements. Some drivers may have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, and they may not be in the physical condition to exchange any information. In that event, they are excused from complying with the law.
If a driver cannot give their information to the other driver, they can be liable for a fine of up to $250. Failing to exchange information will have no bearing on the determination of liability.
Be as Calm as Possible When You Exchange Information
When you do exchange information with the other driver, it is best to avoid all conversations about anything but sharing the information. You do not want to lose your temper or get into an argument about liability with the other driver.
Not only will it distract you from what you need to do at the scene, but you may also say something that can eventually undercut your own case if you move forward legally. Although it is very difficult to leave emotions out of it, that is exactly what you need to do. Stick to getting the information listed above and then tend to your own issues.
Call the Police If You Cannot Get the Other Driver’s Information
If the other driver refuses to share their information with you, it is best to contact law enforcement. You should have called the police to the scene of the accident when the other driver was refusing to cooperate. If law enforcement did not get to the scene, report the accident to the police in the days afterward with all the necessary information. As long as you can give the police a license plate number, they can assist you.
You should not worry if you could not get contact or insurance information from the other driver. Chances are that you will eventually obtain this information.
Hit-and-Run Penalties in California
The more serious penalties are when a driver fails to stop at the scene of the accident. In California, a hit-and-run is a misdemeanor offense that can be punished with up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A hit-and-run is treated as an accident with an uninsured driver for purposes of an insurance claim.
You should always report a hit-and-run accident to the police immediately. You will need this information for your own insurance when you file a claim. If police eventually find the driver involved in the accident, you can file a claim against their insurance if they were to blame. The standard rules of negligence will apply. Therefore, you should still gather as much evidence as you can about the accident that will prove who was to blame.
Some Drivers Break the Law Out of Fear
Many drivers will refuse to share their information with you when they do not have car insurance. They do not want to be cited for driving without insurance, although they will be unable to escape accountability. If you have suffered an injury in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will need to file a claim against your own insurance policy.
As a prerequisite, you will need an accident report. It is helpful to have on the report that the other driver did not have car insurance. Even when you are dealing with your own insurance company, you will still need an attorney because your insurance carrier will similarly try to shortchange you.
Call a Beverly Hills Car Accident Attorney Today
You should call an attorney in the immediate aftermath of the car accident. Once you have the other driver’s information, you can leave all the details to the attorneys at One Law Group and tend to your own medical situation. We will work to advance your claim for financial compensation.
The first step is scheduling your free initial consultation. To speak with one of our lawyers, you can message us online or call us at (844) 626-1529. We work for you on a contingency basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless we win your case.
Car Accident Case FAQs
How do I win a car accident case?
To receive car accident compensation, you must prove that the other party was negligent, meaning that they did something that will be considered unreasonable under the circumstances.
How much is my car accident case worth?
You are legally entitled to be paid back for the full amount of damage that you have suffered, both in terms of money lost and your own experience.
How long will my car accident case take?
It depends on many circumstances, but you should at least prepare yourself for a process that takes many months (or even years).