Until you are in a car accident yourself, it can be difficult to understand how traumatizing this experience can be. In the immediate aftermath of being impacted, it is common to be disoriented and injured. If the person responsible for your accident is dishonest, the situation is even worse. The other driver giving false information after a car accident is not as rare as we may think (or hope). This happened recently to one of our readers, who wondered what their options are:
Reader question: “The driver who hit me gave me false information. Can I do anything?”
Answer: Yes. You can call the police and notify either your insurance company or the DMV.
It is always wise to take immediate action when this situation happens to you. If the accident was not your fault, the other driver should pay to repair your vehicle and cover your medical bills.
3 Different Ways to Get the Driver’s Information
Finding out that someone gave you false information after hitting your vehicle will certainly make you feel very angry — but there are several actions you can take right away. First, you can contact the police. In most cases, the police will provide you with the other driver’s car insurance and general contact information. You can explain you originally got false information and they’ll be able to use the police report from the accident to fill you in.
IMPORTANT: You will need the other driver’s license plate number for this to work.
If you’d prefer not to start by contacting the police, you can request the other driver’s insurance information from the DMV. You can also request this info from your own insurance provider, whose job it is to help you. They’ll likely require an accident report (if there is one) in order to fulfill your request. Yes, it is possible the DMV won’t provide the information you are looking for, but it is unlikely.
Perhaps the easiest way forward is to contact and work with your own insurance agent. They have a database they can use to find information using just the other’s driver’s license plate number. Your insurance provider will help because they want the other driver’s insurer to pay for the damage. They are on your side and want to be sure you are not the victim of fraud.
If the other driver does not have insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your own provider. Make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage for this exact situation.
What If I Suspect the False Information Involves Insurance Fraud?
If you are given false information by another driver after an accident, the other person may be guilty of insurance fraud. This is a criminal offense. Insurance fraud is defined by Allstate as “a deception committed against an insurance company for financial gain.” It can occur when someone exaggerates an accident or even stages one. Insurance fraud is illegal.
If you suspect this is what may be going on, talk to your own provider about the circumstances of your accident. Your insurance company will then work to investigate whether this incident involves insurance claim fraud. (Again, you’ll need the other car’s license plate number and accident report, if one exists.)
Reach Out to an Auto Accident Attorney in Your State
If you’re hurt in an accident and it’s not your fault, you deserve compensation to pay your medical bills and unpaid work days off. To be sure the at-fault driver’s insurer pays, you may need the help of a lawyer.
Insurance companies work to settle accident claims for as little money as possible — even in cases where the driver who hit you broke the law. They’re less likely to give you a low settlement offer if an auto accident lawyer negotiates your payment. Yes, you may ultimately end up filing a claim on your own insurance policy. But even in this situation, an auto accident lawyer can maximize your damages. Even with legal fees, you’ll still end up with a bigger settlement than you would without an auto accident lawyer.
There are lawyers in all 50 states who specialize in working on automobile accidents. If you’d like to speak to an expert for free about your claim, we can match you with a nearby lawyer right away. All auto accident attorneys work on contingency, so you’ll only pay your lawyer if you win a case. Click here to sign up for a free phone call to discuss your case with a local attorney today.
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.