Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident is something no one looks forward to. From dealing with your injuries and physical damage to your vehicle and insurance companies, accidents are stressful situations.
In addition, the process for handling the situation when you are clearly not at fault can be unclear. It’s always in your own best interest to remain calm and polite in dealing with the other driver, even if you believe they are clearly at fault for the accident.
To aid in putting together a third party liability claim, the following is a guideline for what questions to ask the other party at the scene.
- What is your identifying information?
Be sure to get complete information about the driver and any passengers in the vehicle including full legal names and birthdates. If you have a smartphone, use it to take pictures of the driver, passengers and police officers at the scene.
- What is the make, model, year and VIN for your vehicle?
Always obtain information about the vehicle while you are at the scene to provide to the insurance company. Use your phone to take pictures of both the other party’s vehicle and your own, in addition to street signs and traffic lights that may have been involved in the incident.
- Where are you licensed and registered?
Be sure to obtain license and registration information after the accident. It’s also advised to get the name of the owner of the vehicle if this party is different than the one driving at the time of the accident.
- Are you insured and who is your insurance carrier?
Gather information about the other party’s insurance policy including policy number, named insured and a claims department phone number if available.
- Do you have a claim number?
If the other party has already called in the accident to their own company, they may have obtained a claim number. Request this information if they have it available.
If you are not at fault after a car accident, it’s a good idea to call the insurance company for the at fault driver. Even though they may indicate they will call or have called, they may be reluctant to do so because they know they are at fault.
You will need start the process for a third party claim yourself in case they have not contacted their carrier. You also need to contact your own insurance company in case the driver’s insurer denies responsibility for the accident.
However, we do not recommend making a recorded statement regarding the events of the accident to an insurance company until after you have obtained a lawyer to represent you.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident that is not your fault, it’s always advisable to call an auto accident attorney who can assist you in protecting your rights and helping you get the settlement you deserve.
At Hinman and Peck, P.C. our attorneys are experienced in handling car wrecks and all motor vehicle accidents for our clients.
To request a FREE consultation to discuss your case call us directly at (877) 462-9732.