What Information to Exchange After a Car Accident in Chicago?
The immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident in Chicago can be confusing, but there are various steps that you will need to take right away. This includes the exchange of information with other parties involved. Here, we want to more thoroughly examine the types of information that you should hand over at the scene of the accident. We also want to review some things that you should not do at the scene of the crash.
If Others at the Accident Scene are Hostile
In the immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident, tempers can flare. Other drivers or passengers may be angry for various reasons, either at themselves or at anyone else they think is at fault for the incident. If you have been involved in a vehicle accident and there are hostile parties at the scene, you need to let the police get to the accident site and handle the exchange of information between the parties. Do not put yourself into a dangerous situation, and do not do anything to escalate tempers.
What Information Should You Try to Get?
There is various information that you can try to gather after the vehicle accident occurs. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Names of everyone involved. Try and get the names of every person involved in the vehicle accident written down. This includes other drivers and passengers involved.
- Contact information. While you are getting the names of everyone involved, try and get their contact information written down as well. This is particularly important for other drivers involved in the incident as well as any eyewitnesses.
- Preferred contact method. Make sure you get the preferred contact information for each person involved. Some individuals may have preferred contact methods during work days or during certain hours.
- Driver’s license numbers. You can ask to see the driver’s licenses of everyone involved so you can get the proper spelling of their names and to get their driver’s license numbers. Please understand that no one is required to show you their license, so if they say no, let that be the end of that conversation.
- Vehicle information. Write down as much information as you can about the vehicles involved. This includes the make, model, year, color, license plate numbers, and any other characteristics that stand out.
- Vehicle identification numbers. If you are able to do so, try and get the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the vehicles involved. The VIN is the most accurate way to determine ownership of the vehicle.
- Name of insured for the vehicle. Get the name of the individual who has the insurance policy for the vehicle involved. Often, the individual driving the vehicle is not the person who has insured the vehicle.
- Insurance carrier and policy numbers. Write down the name of the insurance carrier and the insurance policy number for all other vehicles involved.
Contact an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident caused by the actions of another driver, reach out to an attorney immediately. A lawyer can help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and then work to recover the compensation you are entitled to.