Unsure of what information to exchange in a car accident? You must understand your obligations under the law. In New York, you must exchange identifying information with the other party, including your name, address, and insurance information. The failure to do so could lead to costly fines and other consequences.
While you must provide this information to the other driver, the required amount of communication is limited.
You are under no obligation to discuss the collision’s facts, and arguing with the other driver is never in your best interest. You could benefit from exchanging required information with the other driver before speaking to a Long Island car collision injury lawyer.
The Information You Exchange with the Other Driver is Important
Exchanging this information with the other driver isn’t a recommendation; it is required by law. According to VAT § 600(2)(i), you must exchange your personal identifying information and other relevant information about your status as a rideshare operator.
Your Personal and Insurance Information
You do not need to provide a lot of information following the crash. This necessary information includes your name and address. You must also provide the other driver with your insurance carrier and policy number.
It is not enough to provide the required information verbally to the other driver. The law also requires that you exhibit your driver’s license and insurance card. Drivers often take pictures of each form of identification instead of taking down the important details by hand.
Disclosing Your Rideshare Status
Rideshare drivers involved in crashes have different requirements to meet. This is because state law has additional insurance requirements for rideshare companies depending on whether their drivers actively seek or transport passengers. So, it drivers must:
- Produce additional proof of insurance for rideshare operation, if applicable
- Disclose whether they were transporting a passenger or seeking one
You Could Face Consequences for Not Exchanging Information
Failing to exchange information with the other driver can result in consequences. According to the statute, the failure to willingly exchange information with the other motorist is treated as a class B misdemeanor in New York. The offense becomes a class A misdemeanor after multiple offenses.
There is an exception to this requirement, however. The statute requires the police to facilitate the exchange of this information and to require it if the parties refuse. The exception to this rule is when one of the drivers involved in the collision is physically unable to comply. This typically occurs when a driver has sustained injuries that require immediate emergency medical care.
Limit Your Discussion to the Pertinent Information
It is only natural to want to discuss your crash with the other person involved. Regardless of who is at fault, many people apologize for the collision or discuss the cause of the crash with the other driver. Doing so can be a mistake, though.
While the law requires you to exchange specific information with the other driver, you do not need to talk about the cause of the collision with them. Doing so could put your personal injury case at risk.
The other side could use everything you say to the other driver at the collision scene against you during the litigation process. Insurance companies have a history of twisting the words of injury victims to use against them during the claims process. Even expressing regret or apologizing for the collision could be used as an admission of negligence by the insurance company.
You do Not Need to Speak to Other Parties More Than the One Time
To protect yourself and your potential personal injury case, you must limit your contact with the other driver. Outside of providing the information required by law, it is in your best interest not to discuss any other aspect of the crash.
Additionally, you should never discuss the case with the other driver’s insurance company. Their adjusters are likely to call you the day of the collision. They could imply that you are required to speak with them. That is not the case. Do not discuss your case with their adjusters, especially before talking to an attorney.
Take Time to Secure Other Information at the Scene
The crash scene is not permanent, and your opportunity to collect evidence is limited. For collisions involving injuries, they must respond to the scene and make a report. Note the officer’s name when you speak with them. Take photos of the crash scene where possible and make note of where the crash occurred.
Finally, talk to any witnesses that saw the collision and obtain their contact information. The testimony of these witnesses could be crucial to your case. Once they leave the scene, you could lose your chance to contact them.
An Attorney Could Help You Pursue Monetary Compensation
Exchanging information is only one of the important steps that follow a collision. After your car accident, you could benefit from a lawyer if you intend to pursue financial compensation for your injuries.
Rosenburg & Gluck, L.L.P looks forward to serving as your advocates in the aftermath of your car crash. Our team has a track record of success in motor vehicle collision cases, and we look forward to helping you. To get started on your case, call (631) 341-7900 for a free consultation. We are able to assist clients in both English and Spanish.