Information to Exchange in a Car Accident
The last thing anybody expects is that they will be involved in a car accident when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle. However, vehicle accidents are not uncommon throughout Illinois. The good news is that most vehicle accident claims are resolved in a fairly seamless way, but that is not always the case. These claims can become challenging, particularly when it comes to dealing with insurance carriers. Here, we want to discuss what type of information needs to be exchanged at the scene of a crash. Even though most people just want to get the situation over with as soon as possible, it is important to obtain and give certain types of information to help ensure that an eventual insurance claim goes through. If you were injured, you should schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Chicago to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
1. The names and contact information of all parties involved
It is important to get the first and last name of any person involved in the accident. This includes all other drivers and passengers. Additionally, if there were any witnesses to the accident who stopped to help or who saw what happened, their names and contact information should be gathered as well. It is important to actually ask for the correct spelling of the names and not to guess.
You should also get the address and phone numbers of any driver or passenger involved in the incident. This may seem like a good deal of information to obtain, but it is important to have multiple ways to get ahold of somebody in the aftermath of a crash.
However, if there are any hostile parties at the scene of the crash, do not try to get their names or contact information by yourself. Let law enforcement officials who respond to the scene handle this part of the process for you.
2. Driver’s license numbers
It is important to get the driver’s license number of any other driver involved in the incident. When looking at the driver’s license number of the other parties, this is a good way to make sure that you get the proper spelling of their name as well. Again, no person is required to show any other driver or individual at the scene their driver’s license. They may very well say no. It may be necessary to rely on law enforcement officials to gather this information.
3. Vehicle information and VIN number
It is important to make a note of the model, make, year, and color of any other vehicle involved in the incident. Additionally, you should get the license plate number of other vehicles involved as well. It may be necessary to ask the owner or driver of the vehicle about specific details pertaining to their car.
If you are able to do so, ask the owner or driver of the vehicle for the vehicle identification number (VIN). Often, this number can be located on the inside of the driver’s side door or on a plate visible by looking towards the bottom of the front windshield from the outside of the vehicle.
4. Name of the insurance policyholder
In some cases, the driver of the vehicle is not the actual owner of the vehicle, or the driver may not be the person who carries the insurance policy for the vehicle. If the driver and the owner/insured individual are not the same people, it is important to ask for the name and personal information of the person who pays for the insurance policy.
Regardless of who pays for the insurance policy, you should still get the name of the insurance carrier and the insurance policy numbers. If the driver is willing to let you see the insurance policy card, then you will be able to see the name of the policyholder.