Getting into a car accident is not something anyone plans for. At best, you get a dented and dinged-up car. At worst, you could lose your life or suffer catastrophic injury. In the moments after an accident, your mind may be racing, and you may not know what to do next. To make matters worse, the other driver may refuse to provide you with their insurance or contact information to avoid liability. When this happens, what can you do?
Don’t panic if the other driver doesn’t want to give you their insurance information. If you remain calm, you can take steps to protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
If you or a family member were involved in a car accident in Florida, do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Florida car accident attorney Prosper Shaked recognizes the dilemma of confronting a driver that refuses to hand over their insurance information, and we are to help you manage your injury claim.
What to Do if a Driver Refuses to Share Insurance Information in Florida
After a car accident in Florida, it is expected that the drivers involved in the accident will speak to each other to exchange insurance information. While it is true that Florida is a “no-fault” state that requires drivers to turn to their own insurance after an accident, you must still exchange information with another driver.
For example, if your insurance cannot cover expenses incurred due to the accident, you may have to pursue a claim against the negligent motorist’s insurance company. Without their contact information and insurance numbers, you may not have any way to collect the compensation you need.
That is why it is important to consider the following steps when a driver refuses to share insurance information after a car wreck.
Avoid a Confrontation with the Other Driver
If the driver that struck your vehicle refuses to cooperate with attempts to exchange information, avoid a confrontation with them. Trying to force a driver to provide insurance information could lead to a possibly violent incident. Instead, you should gather as much information about the vehicle’s driver and the type of vehicle they are operating.
For example, you may be able to gather the following information without speaking to the driver:
- The make and model of the vehicle
- Color of the vehicle
- The license plate of the car, if visible
If a driver does not want to exchange insurance information, it could be for many reasons. For instance, if the negligent driver has not obtained insurance coverage for their vehicle, they will want to avoid exchanging information. They could have a warrant out for their arrest or have illegal substances in the car. For these reasons, it is best NOT to confront the other driver or push them to give you their information.
Do not attempt to handle the accident on your own without going through insurance companies. Some drivers may offer to pay you money directly to avoid liability. While this may seem tempting, it may not be enough to have your vehicle repaired, or it could be insufficient to receive medical treatment for a serious condition like a brain injury caused by the crash.
Additionally, the other driver may offer to pay you later only to avoid all communication about the accident after they leave the scene.
Unless you have an agreement in writing and signed, it will be difficult to prove that the negligent driver offered to pay for the damage to your vehicle and other injuries or losses you may have sustained.
Contact Law Enforcement
Your best option to gather the necessary information is to contact law enforcement and request their help. You should inform the law enforcement officer of the circumstances of the accident and that the other driver refused to provide you with their insurance information. Law enforcement may be able to help you get the information you need.
The other driver may refuse to remain at the accident scene to wait for law enforcement. If the other driver flees the accident scene, you should wait for law enforcement and provide them with information about the driver and their vehicle. Please do not attempt to pursue the driver, as they could become irate and irrational.
If the driver flees the accident scene, it may become a hit-and-run crash, which is illegal in Florida. Law enforcement will pursue the hit-and-run driver for leaving the scene. When this occurs, you need a car accident lawyer on your side to help you with any civil claims or lawsuits that arise.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
You must report the accident to your insurance company even if you do not get the other driver’s insurance information. Insurance companies require their policyholders to notify them after an accident for several reasons. It allows them to start the claims process and get the necessary information to process the claim.
If you do not notify your insurance company of an accident, they may not pay for any damages or injuries that occurred in the accident. Sometimes, not notifying the insurance company of an accident could even void your insurance policy.
It is important to remember that even if you are not at fault in an accident, you should still notify your insurance company. Your insurance company can help you to protect your rights and interests.
Here are some tips for notifying your insurance company after an accident:
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
- Be prepared to provide the following information:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The names and contact information of the other drivers involved in the accident
- The type of vehicles involved in the accident
- The extent of any damage to the vehicles
- The extent of any injuries
- Whether the police were called
- Be honest with your insurance company about the accident.
- Do not try to hide any information from your insurance company.
- Cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation.
- Follow your insurance company’s instructions.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your insurance company will be able to help you after an accident.
Why Do I Need the Other Driver’s Insurance Information if Florida is a No-Fault State?
As mentioned, Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance coverage. However, if your injuries are severe, permanent, or may cause disfigurement, the law allows you to directly pursue compensation from the negligent driver.
Florida’s no-fault system has a “serious injury” threshold. If your injuries meet the state’s definition of a serious injury, you may be allowed to step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In such cases, you would need the other driver’s insurance information to pursue a liability claim.
In addition, if you have an accident in Florida but are from a state that does not have a no-fault system, you may need to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If you encounter a driver who refuses to exchange information after an accident, you should consider taking steps to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Work with Our Trusted Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you were severely injured in a car accident that occurred in Florida, you should contact an experienced Florida car accident attorney today. With several years of experience litigating car accident cases, personal injury attorney Prosper Shaked provides legal representation tailored to your specific needs.
Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA believes that a car accident victim should not have his or her life burdened due to the actions of a reckless driver. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential case details, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676. Our firm can also be reached online.