June 23, 2024

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Law For A Better Future

What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident

What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident What to Do When the Other Driver Refuses to Share Car Insurance Information After an Accident in Maryland When you find yourself in a car accident, your immediate response is often to engage with the other driver. It’s customary to exchange information following a collision. However, you might encounter a less cooperative attitude from the other driver, especially if they were at fault for the accident.

It’s important to understand that sharing insurance information is not just a matter of courtesy – it’s a legal requirement. Failure to adhere to this law could result in a hit-and-run charge. Therefore, if the other driver refuses to provide their information after an accident, it’s crucial to contact the authorities to ensure they fulfill their legal obligations.

At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we offer a complimentary initial case evaluation to maximize your chances of recovering damages. To begin, reach out to our experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers today at (443) 424-6323.

Is It Mandatory for Drivers to Share Car Accident Insurance Information After an Accident in Maryland?

What Happens If You Don'T Exchange Information After An Accident
What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident

According to Maryland Transportation Code § 20-104, drivers involved in an accident must remain at the scene until specific requirements are met. This includes exchanging information with other involved parties, such as names, license numbers, and insurance policy details. When a driver refuses to share insurance information and leaves the scene, they are technically committing a hit-and-run offense.

Maryland law treats hit-and-run cases as criminal offenses, with significant penalties. A hit-and-run involving property damage (e.g., damage to another vehicle) can result in a maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail. However, if the accident involves injuries, the penalties escalate significantly, including fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison. These penalties double if the accident results in a fatality.

Should You Contact 911 When the Other Driver Refuses to Share Their Insurance Information?

What Happens If You Don'T Exchange Information After An Accident
What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident

We strongly advise car accident victims to dial 911 at the accident scene as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you encounter difficulty obtaining insurance information from the other party. When law enforcement arrives, they can serve as impartial intermediaries, emphasizing that sharing insurance information is a legal obligation for all involved drivers on Maryland roads.

Having authorities at the scene is also crucial in case the other driver decides to take matters into their own hands and leave. You can provide a description of the driver and the vehicle to the emergency dispatcher, enabling the police to apprehend the driver before they flee.

After a traumatic car accident, emotions can run high, and tensions can escalate. It’s best to let the authorities manage the collection of information, including insurance providers and policy details, especially if the other party is uncooperative. Once the police create a report for your accident, you can typically access the other driver’s insurance information from that report with the help of our Prince George County car accident attorneys.

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What Other Actions Can You Take If Someone Refuses to Share Car Insurance Information After an Accident?

What Happens If You Don'T Exchange Information After An Accident
What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident

Immediately after a car accident, your first priority is ensuring that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. If the vehicles are drivable, move them to a safe location off the road. Ensure the well-being of all individuals involved. Once these immediate concerns are addressed, and you’ve called the authorities, there are additional steps you can take to protect your future recovery for damages resulting from the accident in Maryland.

Document the Scene with Photos and Videos: Fortunately, most people have smartphones equipped with cameras. Use this to your advantage by documenting the accident scene, including conditions, vehicles involved, license plate numbers, and, if possible, the other driver, especially if they intend to leave the scene. This visual evidence can be invaluable in an insurance claim or legal case seeking compensation for accident-related damages.

Gather Other Information: Even if the other driver is uncooperative regarding insurance information, they may still provide other details you can use later. Obtain their name, contact information, and address, if possible. Importantly, you don’t need the other driver’s permission to record their license plate number. The responding officer will also collect this information for their police report.

Speak to Witnesses: Eyewitnesses are often vital sources of evidence following an accident. These impartial observers can significantly impact the success or failure of a subsequent car accident lawsuit. Collect names and contact details of any nearby witnesses willing to offer their account, as finding them later can be challenging once you leave the scene.

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Dealing with Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers: 

What Happens If You Don'T Exchange Information After An Accident
What Happens If You Don’T Exchange Information After An Accident

If you find yourself in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s important to recognize that suing them may not yield the full compensation you deserve. However, you may still be eligible for compensation through your own insurance company, depending on your policy’s terms.

You don’t have to navigate the quest for justice and compensation alone after a car accident. To receive a complimentary initial case assessment from our experienced Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, reach out to us at (443) 424-6323 today.