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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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.


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