Immediately after an accident, many drivers are confused, overwhelmed, and in shock. Even if they have not suffered an injury, individuals involved with an accident may not know what steps to take to protect their rights and interests. The shock could leave them vulnerable to an another threat–identity theft after an accident.
According to reports there are 9 million consumers who suffer from identity theft every year. Identity thieves will use private information to access accounts, open credit cards, and use Social Security information. Unfortunately, one way that identity theft can occur is after an accident. Our Charleston car accident attorneys have extensive experience representing accident victims. We want to keep residents informed and abreast of trends so that they can protect themselves against injury and financial abuse.
A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that many U.S. drivers risk their identities by sharing too much personal information after an accident. If you are involved in a traffic accident, remember that you need only provide your name and insurance information. You do not have to turn over your address, Social Security, or other personal information to other drivers or their insurance carriers.
At the time of an accident, you should be concerned about moving out of the way of traffic, seeking medical attention, and ensuring safety for others on the road. In these high-risk moments, most drivers are not considering the threat of identity theft. Privacy issues are often the last consideration in the moments after an accident. Drivers in North and South Carolina should be aware of their rights and to limit the amount of information turned over at the time of an accident. In addition to preventing identity theft, limiting the information turned over at the time of an accident can also reduce challenges associated with filing a claim.
In the event of an accident, remember that you only have to provide your name, insurance information and the phone numbers of your insurance provider. You do not need to turn over a driver’s license number, mobile number, or home address. Providing additional personal information could put your safety, identity and your property at risk.
It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed or confused after an accident, but you should try to stay calm and remember to protect yourself first. In order to prevent identity theft and preserve your claim, you should properly document the accident, obtain the other driver’s insurance information and limit what information you turn over.
Drivers who are worried about taking the right steps after an accident can download the app called “WreckCheck” which allows you to complete a checklist after an accident. Using the app, you can take pictures of the accident, get witness names, collect relevant information and email that information directly to your insurance agent.
To prevent identity theft you want to stay calm and be wary of what information you provide. Do not share your driver’s license number or allow another driver to photograph your license. Do not share your home address, which could give an ID theft access to your mail and garbage. You are also not required to share your personal phone number. Remember that protecting yourself first can prevent identity theft and ensure that you are able to effectively collect compensation after an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Bicyclist Struck and Killed in Carolina Forest Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2013
Elderly at High Risk of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents, Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2013