Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Your insurance policy will undoubtedly include a clause requiring you to notify and cooperate with your insurance company in the event of an accident. However, if you are involved in an accident resulting from another driver’s negligence and you’re attempting to seek compensation from their insurance provider, speaking to that provider can be detrimental to your claim.
You may unwittingly say something that could be construed as admitting fault, disqualifying you from receiving compensation. That is why it is prudent to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your auto accident claim. The auto accident lawyers at the law firm Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. have the experience to deal with auto insurance loss adjusters on your behalf. We can safeguard your rights and entitlement to compensation.
Why Does the Other Driver’s Insurance Want to Talk to Me?
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you after a car accident, you can be sure it is not to your benefit. They are not concerned with the welfare of accident victims. The insurance adjuster’s job is to limit or reduce the amount their company potentially has to payout.
The insurance adjuster may offer you immediate payment if you sign a settlement document to facilitate this. This early payment is unlikely to be fair or to ease your financial burden significantly. They know you will be suffering financially, so they will offer an immediate lowball settlement hoping you will accept. The sums offered will be well below the true value of your claim. By accepting these early offers, you could be taking thousands of dollars less than you are entitled to.
This is why it is never a good idea to speak to the other driver’s insurance agents without your personal injury lawyer present.
Do I Have to Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
You are under no legal obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company’s representatives. Their representative may try to give the impression you are under a duty to give them a statement. This is not true. If they try to pressure you into talking to them or giving a statement, you should tell them you will not do so without your attorney present.
Whether it is wise to speak to an insurance company after an accident depends on the facts of the case. If you are filing a claim for personal injury and any of the following are true, you may be able to speak to the insurance company without issue. Doing so may even speed up the settlement process.
- The police report is unambiguous in blaming the other driver for the accident.
- You have a recorded statement from a bystander laying the blame on the other driver.
- You have a recorded statement from the other driver admitting they were to blame for the accident.
However, you should still ensure that your car accident attorney is with you when you talk to them.
Do not speak to the other insurance company if there is any chance of a third-party claim for serious personal injury. You should leave any communication with an insurance company to your lawyer.
Is There any Occasion When it’s Okay to Talk to the Other Insurance Company?
One of the very rare occasions, when it may be a good idea to speak to the other driver’s insurance company, is when the other driver is clearly at fault, but either has not reported the accident to them or has lied about how the accident occurred. In this situation, they will not be aware of the severity of your injuries or the extent of your property damage.
In these circumstances speaking to the insurance company will make sure they are fully aware of the evidence against their insured and the nature and extent of your injuries. This can help expedite the settlement of your claim.
However, it is always best to have your personal injury attorney with you when speaking to the other driver’s insurance company.
What Should I Avoid Saying to the Other Insurance Company?
You should never say that you feel fine or that you only suffered minor injuries. Sometimes, it takes time for symptoms of injuries to become apparent. If you say your injuries are negligible and other symptoms develop, the insurers will claim that your injuries have nothing to do with the accident.
Never volunteer information. Only ever answer the question you are asked. The other insurance company will try to lock you into one version of events using a recorded statement. Your state of health can change, so you don’t want to be bound by how you felt on one particular day.
Don’t offer opinions or guesses as to how the accident happened. The insurance company will be trying to get information that may be used against you. They will attempt to get you to:
- Say that the accident was your fault or partly your fault.
- Disclose your medical history and any conditions that have been diagnosed.
- Say that you were distracted, had been drinking or taking prescription drugs.
- Make comments that are contradicted by other evidence.
If the other insurance company wants to know more than basic information, such as date, time, where it happened, stop the conversation and insist on having your attorney present. This will ensure you don’t say the wrong thing and jeopardize your claim.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer to Negotiate With Insurers
The skilled auto accident lawyers at Cochran Kroll & Associates P.C. have the expertise to recognize insurance companies’ tricks and help you deal with them. Don’t let the insurance company get away with paying less compensation than you deserve.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.