When you get in a car accident, your first instinct might be to speak with the other driver. it is common practice to exchange information with the other driver after a collision. However, you may find that the other driver involved in your accident is less than willing to cooperate, particularly if they caused the accident.
However, sharing insurance information is more than just polite practice. it is actually required by law, and failure to follow the law here may result in a hit-and-run charge. Therefore, if the other driver refuses to offer you any of their information after an accident, you should contact the authorities to make sure that they fulfill their legal obligations.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we can offer you a free initial case evaluation so that you get the best chance of recovery for your harms. To get started, call our experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers today at (410) 694-7291.
Do Drivers Have to Share Car Accident Insurance Information After an Accident in Maryland?
Under Maryland Transportation Code § 20-104, drivers who are involved in an accident are required to remain at the scene until certain requirements are met. This includes the exchange of information with the other parties involved, such as names, license numbers, and insurance policy numbers and information. If a driver refuses to share insurance information with the other driver and leaves the scene, they are technically committing a hit-and-run.
Hit and runs are criminalized under Maryland law. A person who commits a hit-and-run offense may face severe penalties, including multiple points against their license, fines, and jail time. Generally, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in damage to property (such as the other vehicle) carries a maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days of jail time. However, leaving the scene if an injury has occurred carries much more substantial penalties, such as fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison. These penalties are doubled if the accident results in a death.
Should You Call 911 If the Other Driver Refuses to Share Their Insurance Information?
We recommend that car accident victims always call 911 at the scene of the accident as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you are having a hard time getting the other party to share their insurance information. Once the officer arrives at the scene, they can explain as an objective intermediary that sharing insurance information is a legal obligation for all drivers who are involved in a collision on Maryland roadways.
It is also best to get the authorities to the scene of the accident in case the other driver decides to take matters into their own hands and leave the scene. You can provide a description of the driver and vehicle to the emergency dispatcher so that they can have police officers scan the area to apprehend the driver before they get away.
After such a serious and startling incident as a car accident, tensions can run high, and emotions can cause a situation to get out of control. it is best to have the authorities handle the gathering of information such as insurance providers and policy numbers, particularly if the other party isn’t cooperating.
Once police write a police report for your crash, the other driver’s insurance information may be available in that report. Our Prince George County car accident attorneys are here to help.
What Else Can You Do If Someone Refuses to Share Car Insurance Information After an Accident?
Your first step after a car accident should be to make sure that everyone is out of immediate danger. If the cars are drivable, move them out of the path of traffic to a shoulder or some other safe area. Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is stable and out of the way. Once these immediate concerns are dealt with and the authorities have been called, there are a few other steps that you can take that can help preserve your later recovery for the consequences of your car accident in Maryland.
Take Pictures and Video
For better or worse, everyone these days has a camera on their phone. In this case, it is for the better. Attempt to record visual evidence of the accident site, the conditions, the cars involved, license plate numbers, and the other driver, should they decide to flee the scene. This evidence can be used later to help you in an insurance claim or a court case for damages from the accident.
Get Other Information
Even if the other driver is unwilling to share insurance information, they may be willing to give you other details that you can use later. This includes their name, contact information, and address. Fortunately, you don’t have to ask the other driver permission to get their license plate number. the officer who arrives at the scene will also collect this information for the purposes of their police report.
Talk to Witnesses
One source of evidence that often disappears immediately after the accident is the people who saw it happen. Impartial eyewitnesses can make the difference between success and failure in a subsequent car accident lawsuit. Be sure to get names and contact information of anyone nearby who is willing to offer, as you will have a much tougher time tracking them down after you leave the scene.
What If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
If you get into an accident with an uninsured or uninsured driver, the reality is that a lawsuit against them may not get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve. However, you may still be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company. the amount of compensation available depends on the specifics of your plan.
We Can Answer Your Insurance Questions After a Car Accident in Maryland
Don’t take on your search for justice and compensation after a car accident alone. To get a free initial case assessment from one of the seasoned Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call (410) 694-7291 today.