What Information Should be Exchanged in a Car Accident?

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Section 46.2-894 of the Virginia Code identifies what motorists must do after a car accident. Failure to follow these duties is a Class 5 felony or a Class 1 misdemeanor, so it is critical that motorists know what is expected of them in the event of a collision. Below, our car accident lawyer identifies the information you are required by law to share.

Required Information

The law requires that you share the following with anyone you struck or injured in a crash:



Driver’s license number

Vehicle registration number

You should also request the same information from the driver of any vehicle involved in the crash. If the accident involved multiple vehicles on the highway, you might get dozens of people’s information. However, be sure to share the above with anyone you hit or injured in an accident.

What if You Can’t Find the Car Owner?

The car might have been unoccupied at the time of the accident. Under Section 46.2-806, you must try to find the owner. This might mean stepping into a business near where the car is parked and asking who owns the vehicle. If you find the owner, share the personal information listed above.

If you can’t find the owner, then you should leave a note in a conspicuous place, such as the windshield, for the driver to find. Include the personal information listed above. You also need to report the accident within 24 hours to either local law enforcement or the State Police.

What Happens if the Victim is Badly Injured?

The accident might be so traumatic that the person you hit is in considerable pain or possibly even unconscious. This person is in no condition to accept your personal information, so what do you do?

The law says you can share the information with the driver (if they were not seriously injured) or another vehicle occupant.

What if You Are Badly Injured?

You might be in incredible pain or unconscious. The law recognizes that it’s not always realistic to share personal information immediately after the crash. If injuries prevent you from sharing information at the accident scene, then you should make a “reasonable effort” later to find either the person you hurt or another occupant of the vehicle. Once you locate them, you should share your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number.

How do you find these people? We recommend getting a copy of the police report, which should contain the names of everyone involved in a car accident.

Sharing Insurance with the Police Officer

Section 46.2-902.1 also requires that furnish proof of insurance if requested by a police officer responding to the accident. Interestingly, the law does not require that you share this with the person you hit in a collision. However, if you are injured, we recommend asking the driver for insurance information. It’s better to get it now than wait.

Were You Injured in a Wreck?

The Jackson Law Group helps those who have suffered personal injuries in a car crash. For immediate assistance with a legal claim, contact us to schedule a free consultation.