California Law requires that all persons involved in a motor vehicle accident to exchange drivers license, Vehicle Registration, and insurance information with each other at the scene of an accident.
If you are physically able, you must also provide your drivers license, vehicle registration, and insurance information to any other persons involved in the accident.
Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. You could be charged with hit and run which is a felony and a crime in the State of California.
Do not ride down the street and then stop. We highly recommend that you leave your motorcycle where it is until the police arrive so that they can observe the position of the motorcycle and do their report. I recommend moving your motorcycle out of traffic only if you must, to the side of the road or medium of a freeway. ONLY MOVE YOUR MOTORCYCLE IF YOU HAVE TO FOR SAFETY REASONS! In any case, never move your motorcycle to a location where it can be construed by someone that you fled from the scene of an accident!
Unfortunately many persons in the State of California drive illegally without automobile or motor vehicle insurance. It is for this reason that we always tell our clients to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage insurance coverage.
You may find out while exchanging information with the other motorist you had an accident with that they have some sort of excuse for not having a current proof of insurance card, or they may not even have a drivers license. If this is the case, it is more likely than not that the other driver does not have insurance or a drivers license. We do not recommend arguing with the other driver. Arguing can lead to physical violence. It’s bad enough that you just had an accident, the last thing you need is to go to jail for fighting with the other driver, or being physically assaulted. Use your brain! Get whatever information you can from the person even if they provide proper documentation.
When provided with the things mentioned above, write everything down in detail, i.e., Full Name, Address, Drivers License Number, Date of Expiration, Date of Birth, Hair Color, Height, Weight, Restrictions, Insurance Company name, address, and telephone number, Insurance policy number, date of expiration of insurance, Year, Make, Model, License Plate, Vehicle Identification Number, and Color of all vehicles involved in the accident, Registered owner of vehicle, address, etc.
In other words, write down every piece of information from each of the items given to you by the other driver. It will only help us to prosecute your case!
Here are some things that you might try to write down aside from the required information mentioned above:
Were any of the parties involved in the accident driving a commercial vehicle, truck, van, and/or working at the time of the accident?
Any statements made by any of the persons involved in the accident.
A full description (race, height, age, weight, hair color and style, clothes, etc.) of each driver involved in the accident.
Whether any persons in the accident were wearing eye glasses or sun glasses.
Whether any persons involved in the accident appeared to be intoxicated.
Passenger information for all vehicles.
Whether the windows of any of the vehicles tinted.
Whether any persons involved in the accident talking on the cell phone at the time of the accident. (their cell phone records can be obtained by us through subpoena if we are forced to litigate)
The facts of the accident as you understand them.
All witness names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle types, license plate numbers, etc. (sometimes witnesses will offer to help at the scene of the accident, but then become unavailable or refuse to return phone calls or mailings after the fact. Getting detailed information from them including their vehicle information may help us to locate them if necessary or they become non-cooperative.)
Try to contact level headed relatives or friends to come to the scene of the accident. They can not only help you to obtain information, but they can also act as witnesses to statements made by persons involved in the accident, property damage, and your injuries. Witnesses are always a good thing, especially if they are helpful to your case! They can also assist you in removing belongings from your vehicle if necessary, and give you a ride if you motorcycle needs to be towed.
By Biker Lawyer and Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. Copyright 2006