What to do about an accident if I didn’t get that at-fault party’s insurance info?

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What to do about an accident if I didn’t get that at-fault party’s insurance info?

My car was hit about 2 months ago by an acquaintance. Trying to be nice I let him decide whether he wanted to go through insurance or pay out of pocket. Now he wants him and his buddy to take care of the damages themselves which does not fly with me; there is too much damage and the repair needs to be done professionally. What can I do from here? I do not have his insurance info yet and do not think he will give it to me if I ask. Is there any action I can take from there? I do have contact info for him and an eye witness to the accident.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there was a police report of the accident, the police report should list the insurance information of all parties to the accident   If the at-fault driver is not the registered owner of the vehicle, the registered owner should be listed on the police report. You can obtain the police report from the police department.

If the other driver/registered owner did not have insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.  If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage and the at-fault party does not have insurance, you will need to file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.

If the at-fault party has insurance, but refuses to provide that information, you will need to file a lawsuit or threaten to file a lawsuit for negligence if the insurance information isn't immediately provided.  You can proceed with your lawsuit if the other party refuses to provide the insurance information.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs to your vehicle.  Your vehicle needs to be professionally repaired and not repaired by the at-fault party and his friend.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence) for the property damage to your car would be the cost of repairs.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an auto repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  Your damages should also include the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired.  You will need to mitigate damages by selecting a rental car with reasonable rates.  If you were to select a very expensive rental car, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you do obtain insurance information from the at-fault party, the insurance company usually has a maximum daily rate for rental car reimbursement.  Also, the insurance company won't pay for the collision damage waiver charged by rental car companies.  If you have adequate insurance, you won't need the collision damage waiver.


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