Posted on: May 7, 2014
A car accident is traumatic. No matter how small the damage is, it’s a potentially stressful experience. To make matters worse, the others in the accident might not be cooperative. Some may try to leave, refuse to give their information, or automatically start denying anything has happened. Here are some tips on what to do in that situation.
Ask Nicely: Stay Calm
If you get into an auto accident, make sure to ask the other person(s) involved, nicely, for their information. At this point, you are both stressed and not thinking clearly. The moments after an accident are about 1) making sure you are safe and 2) collecting information in a cool, collected way.
Some things that you should ask about and write down include: the other person’s license plate number, the name of their insurance, their name. One way to do this is to begin taking photos at the scene. This can be a non-intrusive way of collecting vital information not only of the accident itself, but of the other person. You could also start using one of the many technological devices that can help guide you through the information collection process.
It’s important to act reserved and calmly during this process. Anything said during this exchange could come back to haunt you in the courtroom. Be polite and as calm as you can be. In most cases, the other person is feeling anxiety as well and might be refusing information out of fear, rather than any malicious intent.
Leave the Car Accident Investigation to the Police
If the other person is being uncooperative, do not force or confront the other person. While it is necessary to have car insurance in South Carolina, it is not mandated to show it to other civilians. This means that a person can refuse to offer information. If a situation like this develops, stay calm and listen. If the other person gets on the phone, listen for their name or anything they might say that will help identify them. If you are taking photos, see if you can zoom in on their license plate for their number.
Above all, do not play investigator. If you feel uneasy or threatened by the other person, immediately call the police. It is their job and responsibility to investigate and get all the appropriate information.
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been able to collect the license plate number and some other identifying information, don’t take it upon yourself to track down the other person. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you get all the information you need. Contact the legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Columbia, Charleston, Orangeburg, Greenville, Moncks Corner, and Walterboro – but we will meet you anywhere in the state to discuss your case.