What should I do if I didn’t get a person’s contact info from them when we spoke after they hit my car?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2011

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What should I do if I didn’t get a person’s contact info from them when we spoke after they hit my car?

My car was park on the street and a car hit it from behind. My car was totaled and then towed because it was pushed into the middle of the street. The other person spoke to a police officer but I didn’t because the officer left before I had arrived. I’m a moron and didn’t get their contact info, they have mine though. I do have their plate numbers.

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Accident Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since the other party spoke with the police, there should be a police report of the accident.  You can contact the police department to obtain the police report.  The police report will have the other party's name or if different than the driver the name of the registered owner and insurance information. 

If the other party has insurance, you can file your property damage claim with their insurance company.  If the other party does not have insurance, which will be indicated on the police report and if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file your property damage claim with your insurance company. 

If the other party does not have insurance and you don't have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you will need to file a lawsuit for negligence against the other party for the property damage/loss of your vehicle.  Your damages should also include the cost of a rental car.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages which means that the rental car expense will have to be reasonable.  If you were to rent the most expensive car you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If there is applicable insurance, the insurance company will probably have a daily maximum rate it will pay for a rental car.  If you do get rental car reimbursement from the insurance company, they won't pay for the collision damage waiver on the rental car.  If you have adequate insurance, you won't need the collision damage waiver.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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