Fender benders are a part of life. Someone who doesn't get into a minor car accident sometime in their life probably doesn't drive. So when you do have that inevitable fender bender, remember that you should always get the other person's information. Always. If you don't you may very well live to regret it. If there is damage to your car or if you have a minor injury, you may want to consider contacting a Los Angeles car accident law firm -- especially since firms like the Banafshe Law Firm offer free consultations.
If another driver seems reluctant to provide his identifying information there is probably a good reason he or she doesn't want you to know who they are.
One of the most common reasons a driver may want nothing to do with being identified is he may be driving on a suspended driver's license or may never have had one at all. Penalties are stiff for operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license and drivers who do so don't want to get caught.
Another reason some drivers don't feel comfortable in providing their name and address is that they don't have insurance. An uninsured driver leaves you hanging when the other driver is at fault and has no insurance company to cover the cost of fixing your car. Many insurance policies have uninsured driver clauses that will pay for your damages but it still hurts you in the long run with a possible increase in your rates. An uninsured driver is looking at penalties such as his license being suspended or even a civil lawsuit.
Other reasons the other driver may try to evade identifying himself is the threat of financial obligation or even a lawsuit, avoiding a ticket or his being in someone else's car that doesn't know he's driving it.
The reason for obtaining his information is that when you part ways and you don't know who the other driver was, all hope of financial restitution is gone. Chances of finding him again are slim to none. Failing to identify him means that if the slight dinger in your bumper turns out later to develop into a leaking transmission or other expensive damage you didn't know about at the scene, you have no recourse.
So what's the best way to identify the other driver? Get a police report. Call local law enforcement to report the accident and the responding police officer will investigate the cause of the accident, file a report your insurance company will have access to, and most certainly identify the driver. The other driver may give you a false name and address but if he tries doing that to an officer he'll probably be led away in handcuffs.
Other ways of identifying the other driver aren't as dependable but there may be times you have to be resourceful. Asking the other driver for his name, address, phone number and insurance company works on honest people. You should always jot down the other driver's license plate and the color, make and model of his car.
Remember, you should always get the other driver's information. You never know when you'll need it. If all you can get is the license plate or the name of the driver, that's ok. Contact our Los Angeles car accident attorneys as quickly as possible after the accident, and we'll identify the best ways we can to help you obtain compensation.