Imagine that you are traveling on on Featherstone Road in Philadelphia when another driver t-bones your vehicle. The entire driver side of your car is damaged and you suffered serious injuries in the collision including a bulging disc in your lower back and a fractured wrist. In this stressful moment, you may be inclined to provide personal information to ensure a proper insurance claim is filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you must exercise caution and only provide information that is absolutely necessary. Why? Because of the serious risk of identity theft.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issued a cautionary message to all drivers about providing too much information after a car wreck. Sharing too much information, like a home address or phone number, puts drivers in jeopardy of being identity theft victims.
The NAIC created a checklist and mobile app to help drivers after an automobile collision, according to an article published in The Washington Post. But, keep in mind, the app and checklist do not provide state-specific requirements for what information must be provided after a collision.
In A Car Accident – What Info You Should Share And What Info You Should Keep To Yourself
Below are tips to help protect your identity while exchanging insurance information after an auto accident.
What You Do NOT Need to Share
Your Home Address
Providing your home address to the other driver could expose your home to potential identity thieves, giving them all the information they need to steal your identity through your mail box and/or trash cans. It is unfortunate, but you cannot put much trust in the person with whom you had an automobile collision. There is a risk that if the other driver, facing a potential insurance premium hike because of the collision, could attempt to sell your private information to a third party to make some extra money.
Your Personal Phone Number
If you exchange automobile insurance information with the other driver, there is no need to share your personal cell phone number or home phone number. After an auto accident, your insurance company will deal directly with the other driver’s insurance company.
Your Social Security Number
This is definitely a piece of information you do not need to share with anyone, with the exception of the medical professionals at the hospital. If the other driver asks for your Social Security number, provide a polite, yet stern, no.
What You Need to Do After an Auto Accident
Contact the Police
A police report on file makes it easier to submit a claim to your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. Additionally, calling the police better protects you and your loved ones from scams such as staged car accidents and insurance fraud.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Shortly after a collision, take a moment to call your auto insurance company. This is important because you may actually be required to report a collision to your insurance company. Furthermore, it provides a third party with the information to validate that the collision was legitimate.
Speak to an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia, contact an experienced, aggressive Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can help assess any identity theft risks, along with the damages associated with the wreck. Contact the Pearce Law Firm for a no-cost, confidential case review.