Let’s face it: accidents happen. However, some have the potential to cost those involved thousands in medical bills and repairs. Nobody likes sudden expenses. Luckily, many people carry auto insurance. When all parties involved in an accident carry auto insurance, they tend to have less “out-of-pocket expenses”. However, not all motorists carry auto insurance. So, how can you find out if someone has auto insurance coverage to cover your damages?
At Curcio Law Offices, we pride ourselves on having served the Chicago area since 1957. With that kind of knowledge and experience, we’re one of the city’s most distinguished personal injury firms. If you recently got into a car accident and you’re unsure whether or not the at-fault driver has insurance, we’re here to help. This blog explains how to find out if someone has auto insurance coverage, as well as where to go from there. To schedule your free consultation with a dedicated Chicago personal injury attorney, give us a call at 312-321-1111 today.
Should I Get the Other Driver’s Auto Insurance Information After an Accident?
Absolutely. Firstly, exchanging insurance information with the other driver is a great way to protect yourself legally. Also, the other driver might try to convince you that they will pay for your damages without offering up their insurance information. If you drive away without getting that information, your case becomes a lot more complicated.
Below, we outline a possible timeline for what happens if you fail to get their information:
- You both leave the scene of the accident. The next day, you take your car into the shop. Your trusted mechanic explains that your repairs will be much more expensive than you initially anticipated.
- Then, you call the number that the other driver left for you, expecting them to pick up. They don’t. In fact, you call numerous times and leave multiple messages. However, they still don’t call back.
- During the course of all this, you realize that you have some pretty significant neck pain, probably from a whiplash injury. You go see your doctor, and they confirm this. Now, on top of all your repair costs, you have medical costs.
Because the other driver already ignored your calls and messages about repair costs, they likely won’t call back or answer about medical bills. Unfortunately, you are now responsible for paying hundreds, if not thousands, in repairs and medical bills. One way to avoid this scenario is to acquire the insurance information of the other driver at the scene of the accident.
How to Find Out Someone’s Car Insurance Company?
As we stated above, it is absolutely essential to obtain the other driver’s insurance information after an accident. If you don’t know how to find out if someone has auto insurance coverage, this section is for you.
Below, we list the best ways to obtain the other driver’s insurance information:
- After calling the police to the scene of the crash, give them the other driver’s license plate number. They should be able to find their insurance information for you, along with providing an incident report.
- Simply ask the other driver. Sometimes, they will admit fault and provide their information with no hesitation. Other times, they may require convincing.
- Finally, you can approach the other driver’s insurance company directly if they did not provide their policy details. Again, they will ask for your personal information and police report, as well as your reason for wanting that information.
How to Find Insurance Company By License Plate?
Two of the above methods involve obtaining policy information with a license plate number. In most cases, unless the situation was a hit-and-run, it is easy to snap a quick picture of the at-fault driver’s plate number. Below, we outline these methods in more detail:
- After any car accident, even a minor fender bender, we recommend that you call the police. This helps for a multitude of reasons, including obtaining the at-fault driver’s insurance information as soon as possible. However, the other driver might not stick around. If you obtain their plate number, but no insurance information, give this to the police upon their arrival at the scene. Also include a description of the driver’s vehicle. The police will then run a search on the plate number, and then give you their insurance information. Also, they can help you discover whether or not the other driver’s insurance covers your damages.
- If you choose to go a different route, we recommend paying a visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). With a valid reason for obtaining the information, as well as all information you have from the accident, the DMV can look up the other driver for you.
What If the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
While this seems at first like it will complicate things even further, that is not necessarily true. You have two notable options in cases where the at-fault driver does not have insurance. We outline these options below.
- If you have uninsured motorist coverage: When you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company agrees to pay for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. After the accident, your insurance company will ask for proof of your injuries, necessary medical treatments, and property damages. Afterward, they conduct their own investigation into the car accident. In some cases, the insurance company will try to undervalue your claim. Fortunately, hiring an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can help.
- File a lawsuit: Not everyone has coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists. If you do not, you can still file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. With the help of an experienced accident attorney, file a personal injury suit to ensure that you receive just compensation for your damages.
Why Should I Hire a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer?
After any car accident, it is important to prepare yourself for the aftermath. No matter how large or small the incident, you deserve compensation for what happened. At Curcio Law Offices, we handle all manner of personal injury cases, from hit and run accidents to catastrophic injury cases. We take pride in providing the best possible service and advocacy for our clients. If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a car accident, we invite you to set up a free consultation with us. Please call 312-321-1111 today, or fill out our online intake form.