Legal Blog

The Information You Share After A Car Accident May Expose You To Identity Theft And Legal Action

Attorney David I. Fuchs


Attorney David I. Fuchs


Aug. 16, 2012


Car Accident Law

Michelle Singletary, a writer with the Washington Post in a recent article wrote about after being involved in a car accident, she went into “reporter- mode” and took down a lot of information regarding the other driver.

She was not at fault for the accident But as she was concerned the other driver would later try to change his version of the accident after she reported it to his insurance company she took down his insurance information, driver’s license number, home phone number, and his address. She also obtained contact information for witnesses to her accident.

What she later discovered was that a good deal of the information she obtained from the at fault driver could have put the driver and the witness in danger of identity theft, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). She would later learn that is a general misconception about the information that needs to be disclosed after an auto accident. You for the most part need only give the other driver only insurance information, which should include your name and the name of your insurance carrier and their phone number.

The Association says that you should not give personal information, such as your driver’s license number, home telephone number, or address. In a survey conducted by the Association 40 percent of the persons surveyed thought they had to give their driver’s license numbers. One in six would allow the other driver to photograph their licenses as a fast way to exchange information.

As your driver’s license number is a way to the common method used to verify identity, the sharing of this information puts you at risk for identity theft. The survey also found that 25 percent of participants indicated that after a crash, they would disclose their home addresses. This is allowing a stranger to know where you reside. Further, approximately 30 percent of drivers think they must disclose their home phone numbers.