A car accident can be overwhelming but dealing with insurance after an accident is not something you should have to do alone. Insurance companies are difficult and will often try to take advantage of you in your time of need. It’s important to know what the law says about liability for a car accident before talking with your insurance company. This article covers some things that you should not volunteer to the insurance company as well as when to get a lawyer involved.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you’re immediately going through so much stress that you may not be thinking clearly. The very first things you should take care of are your immediate medical needs – this is the most important task you need to be concerned with at this time. When your medical needs have been met, you are safely back at home, you can then contact your insurance company to alert them of your accident.
You should always tell the truth to your insurance company. This should be understood. But there are things that you should not volunteer to your insurance company and specific things you should not say at all. You need to protect your interests, and your ability to receive proper compensation for the damages you have suffered. If you know what to say and what no to say, you are in a better position to obtain that compensation.
“The Accident was my fault”
Never, never, never admit fault for the accident. When you are explaining the details of the accident to your insurance representative, only reveal facts, and keep your own personal opinions (and emotions) out of it entirely. Keep in mind that anything you say will be used against you to reduce your compensation as much as possible.
“I don’t have any injuries”
There are some injuries caused by auto accidents that do not show up for months after the accident, never claim that you don’t have any injuries because you simply don’t know if that is the truth. Most often, injuries are apparent right at the scent of the accident, other times, injuries show up later. For example, internal bleeding or a back or neck injuries. These may not be apparent at the accident scene; it may take a few days to feel pain from these injuries.
“I am making an official statement”
Avoid giving an ‘official statement’ until you talk to a personal injury attorney. Doing so could be catastrophic to the recovery of damages in your case. You have no obligation to give a recorded official statement to anyone, despite what the insurance claims representation may tell you.
“I guess…” or “I think….”
Be polite but decline to provide answers to questions when you do not know the facts. It is ok to say, “I do not know”. Do not speculate or give your opinion as to what you believe happened, or you think is to blame. Speculative statement could serve to hurt your case, as the adjuster could later use it as evidence that you changed your story. Keep your answers to the adjuster’s questions as short and succinct as possible. Tell the truth, but do not give details the adjuster does not ask for.
Accepting a Settlement
When you begin communicating with your insurance company, they will very likely offer you a lump sum of money as a settlement. This initial offer of a settlement is a low-ball offer and should not even be considered. You have the right to receive compensation for your injuries, property damage, time off work and future medical treatment bills, too. Always consult with an attorney before you decide to accept any settlement.
“I don’t have an attorney”
Even if you have not yet retained the services of an experienced attorney, please do not admit that to the insurance company. You need a personal injury attorney that knows exactly how the insurance companies work. They will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for the damages that you have sustained in the accident.
When should you hire a lawyer after an accident?
No one is prepared for a car accident and the impact it can have on your life. It can cause fear, pain, expense, and inconvenience. It also raises questions that you have never had to consider before, such as do you need a lawyer if you have been in a car accident, or do you go it alone? The short answer is if you are asking this question, you need to talk to a lawyer.
If there is any disagreement regarding who is at fault in causing a crash, you need to hire an attorney.
If you have been injured or have property damage from an auto accident, you may have significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs; you need to hire an attorney.
An experienced injury attorney can be extremely helpful in navigating the often chaotic and confusing world of insurance claims and injury settlements after an auto accident. Hiring the right attorney will bring to the table in-depth knowledge of the law, the ability to put your best case together, and comfort in the negotiation trenches when it is time to fight for your best result.
It can be a risk to handle an auto accident claim on your own, unless your injuries are very minor, and the other side is conceding fault.
Keep in mind:
- If you have injuries, expenses, or damages, you may be entitled to compensation
- Most lawyers will give you a first consultation without any risk or commitment.
- Insurance companies are not on your side
- You should not delay.
Do not make the mistake of trying to settle with insurance companies on your own. Hire a lawyer that will work for you, not for an insurance company. KNOW WHO TO CALL; Call Tad 417-865-4400