Do I Need to Keep an Information Exchange Form in My Car in Case of a Car Accident?
An information exchange form is typically used by police officers after they have determined that your car accident is “non-reportable” because no serious or known injuries have occurred and damage to vehicles appears to be less than $1,500. Drivers are not required to keep an information exchange form in their vehicles just in case they are in a car accident but it could come in handy in situations where police do not respond to the accident or police officers are not called. The bottom line is that driver information needs to be exchanged whether or not the police are called to the scene.
What if the other driver won’t exchange information after a car accident?
Getting into a car accident is a very stressful thing. Even besides the risk of injury and property damage, stress levels rise when we are faced with an unexpected crisis. The at-fault driver may become agitated as they realize the mess they have created for themselves and be uncooperative in exchanging information. If this happens, the best thing to do is call the police and have them get information from the other driver. While you wait, take down contact information from any witnesses, and take pictures of the scene and all angles of the vehicles involved in the crash, including the license plate. Write down the make, model and color of the other vehicle(s).
If the other driver flees the scene, there’s no need to panic. That’s what uninsured motorist coverage is for. Try to catch the make, model and color of the vehicle as it flees, along with the direction it went. If you’re able to remember the license plate number – or even part of it – that’s ideal. Call the police and take down contact information for any witnesses. Take pictures of your vehicle, any obvious personal injuries, and the scene of the accident. Write down notes about your account of the accident. Whatever you do, do not leave the scene until a police officer has arrived to gather evidence and take your statement for an accident report. Ask the officer if there are any cameras in the area that may have captured the crash. A video can offer powerful proof of the details of the accident that can bolster your accident claim.
The more information you’re able to gather, the easier it will be to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. If you hire a car accident lawyer to help, they will also appreciate the information you provide them on an information exchange form to help them get started on building a case.
What is on an information exchange form?
An exchange of information form usually has a space for the following information about the other driver:
- Insurance company
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Make, model, color and year of vehicle
Once the form is filled out, keep it in a safe place to share with your car accident lawyer.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury as a result of an accident or error caused by the negligence of another, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!