I got into an accident with someone driving a work vehicle, but they wouldn’t give me their employer’s insurance policy information. What do I do?
An accident is already an overwhelming experience, but it can push your stress over the edge if the other party isn’t willing to cooperate. Getting into an accident with a worker on the clock can be an even more trying event, as the working party is likely concerned about more than a dent in their vehicle. This may make everyone at the scene feel discombobulated — or even hostile — but the best thing to do for everyone’s safety is to remain calm.
There are steps you can take to retrieve withheld information if you have a couple of basic details on hand. One of the best things you can do at the scene of an accident is to be fully aware. Take notes if you need to, and some photos if possible, in order to document key identifiers for the driver, their work vehicle, and their employer. If first responders are on the scene, they can be a great resource to organize important information.
After the initial shock of an accident, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa may help you get some answers to your most pressing questions regarding the legal logistics of your case. What are the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit? Could there be repercussions? Won’t their insurance company compensate me? These are all important questions to ask a local attorney.
Call The Authorities
One of the first things you should do after realizing that the other party won’t cooperate is to call the police. Depending on how severe the damage is, and if anyone was hurt, they may or may not respond. The benefit of having an officer at the scene of the accident is that they may be able to relay information that the other party isn’t willing to give you.
If the accident is minor, and the operator will not dispatch an officer to your location, look around for witnesses who may have seen the initial impact. Chances are, someone has already stopped to call the police for you if the accident is blocking traffic.
Finding a willing witness can provide valuable evidence for your case, so if no police show up to take statements, collect any witnesses’ contact information and ask them to provide a statement once you’ve found the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But, how do you find their insurance provider if they refuse to tell you?
Get Any Available Information From The Driver or Responding Officer
Thankfully, if the person who hit you was driving a work vehicle, identifying information shouldn’t be hard too find. Gather all of the information you can about this company vehicle, like the license plate number, any serial numbers, or a visible company name. For example, nearly all semi truck cabs have a unique USDOT Truck Cab Number sticker on the side. Sometimes you may be able to find the employer logo and employee name on the professional driver’s uniform, so record that too, when possible.
If an officer is on-site, they may be able to provide you with the employee’s CDL or DL number for reference when speaking to an insurance adjuster.
The most important thing you will record if the employee refuses to cooperate, is the name of the company. Employers are required to provide insurance policy information to possible claimants, in most situations. After you’ve settled down from the initial stage of the accident, it would be best to get in touch with a supervisor or HR representative within the company to retrieve the insurance information that the employee failed to give you on-site.
Make Notes About Details Of The Accident
It would be in your best interest to take photos if you have your phone and it wasn’t damaged from the impact. You can ask witnesses to provide any photos they might have taken, too.
Physical evidence can do a lot more in your favor than statements, but don’t neglect any details about the other driver or their actions in your accident report, either. Anything you can remember may be helpful to take note of, as it could be important later and you may forget down the line.
Example questions to ask yourself include: What time did the accident happen? What were you doing when the accident happened? Were you driving through a green light, did the other party neglect a stop sign? Did they say anything of significance to you? Where is most of the damage to your vehicle? On theirs?
All of these details may seem insignificant now, but if an insurance adjuster asks, you may want to have the information on hand.
Making Your Claim With Their Insurance Company
It is important to remember that when you speak with the company’s insurance, you are speaking to someone with the sole intention of protecting their bottom line. Because they are less concerned with helping you, it may be in your best interest to retain a personal injury attorney and let them speak on your behalf.
This concern is another reason that keeping a journal of notes from the accident may come in handy because if you decide to have a lawyer represent you on your case, they will have thoroughly studied your personal account before speaking with or filing a claim with an insurance adjuster.
In fact, speaking with an injury attorney as soon as possible after your wreck may be the best course of action, as you can begin an investigation to identify all available sources of compensation. Retaining an attorney to speak on your behalf can be beneficial because they will be able to assess what information is necessary to provide, and what information you have the right to not disclose to adjusters. Every detail of the accident could have an effect on your ability to claim compensation. Giving the impression that you were at fault in part, for example, could result in a significant reduction in your available benefits.
Find a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney In Tampa to Fight for You
In the aftermath of a serious crash injury, you shouldn’t have to overwhelm yourself with the exhausting litigation process for personal injury in Florida. There are experienced professionals, like our team at Darrigo & Diaz, who have over 75 years of collective experience practicing law to serve our clients in the Tampa community. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to better understand the unique aspects of your case and explain the next steps we can take together.
We’d love to help you gain the best chances possible of getting the compensation you need! Contact us online or by phone at (813) 774-3341 to schedule your free consultation appointment now.