Being involved in a car accident can lead to severe injuries and damages. When you are injured due to another driver’s negligence, the process begins of seeking compensation for injuries and other financial hits from the accident. A few days after the accident, you may receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company. Do you have to speak to the insurance company?
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Is it a Legal Requirement to Speak to the Insurance Company?
First and foremost, are you legally required to speak to the insurance company of the other driver? The answer to this is no, you are not legally required to speak to the insurance company.
Even if Not Required, Should I Speak to Them?
This can be a tricky question for many injured people who are looking to file a personal injury claim. An insurance company may reach out to confirm the other driver’s story. If the other driver is telling a lie, it may be tempting to correct the lie and ensure the account of the accident is truthful. If the accident was minor, you may also be tempted to simply give your version of the events and move on with your day.
However, there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t speak to the other driver’s insurance company. You should refrain from speaking with them if:
- You have severe injuries from the accident
- Medical treatments for your injuries have cost a lot of money
- You are unable to work due to injury
- There was more than one injured person in the accident
- There has been a dispute over who was responsible for the accident
- You are unable to process or fully give details at the moment over the accident
- The insurance company is being persistent and forceful
When situations such as these are occurring, it is best to consult instead with a San Diego personal injury attorney . They will be able to give you the best legal advice.
What if I Talk to the Insurance Company?
Though it is often best to wait to speak to an insurance company with the presence of your personal injury attorney, there may be some instances where you find yourself having a conversation anyway. It is important to remember that the insurance company of the other driver is working in their own best interests, and there are some tactics you must implement into the conversation in order to keep your words from being used against you.
Stay Calm and Neutral
The first thing you do not want to do is blow up on the insurance representative/adjuster. This can cause your claim to be drawn out longer or allow them to build a stronger case against you. If you must talk to the other driver’s insurance company, stay calm and neutral. Make sure to stick to the facts of the accident and don’t overshare.
Refrain From Speaking About Injuries
Keep all talk of injuries off the table when speaking to the insurance company. Even if an insurance company implies they are aware of your injuries, they do not know the extent of them or may often be trying to draw out the information from you. If they mention injuries, tell them to submit a written formal request to your attorney.
Be Aware Your Conversation is Being Recorded
Insurance companies record phone conversations, and they may not be telling you this beforehand. This is why it is important to not overshare any information, as your own words can be used against you.
Do Not Self-Incriminate
Never make any statements that can incriminate you. Insurance companies are looking to reduce your payout as much as possible, so don’t say anything that can help them. This also involves watching what you say to the driver the day of the accident. Never apologize or verbally accept some of the blame for the accident, as these words can be used to reduce your compensation amount.
Fast Settlements May Not Be Good
If you have been speaking to an insurance adjuster a few times and they make settlement offers fast, this may not always be a good thing. In fact, this may be a sign the insurance company knows you have a strong case and do not want to risk the legal battle. Because insurance companies are known to lowball these types of claims, never accept a fast settlement offer. Consult with your personal injury attorney to determine what the value for your case is.
Talking with the other driver’s insurance company can be an overwhelming and intimidating process. This is why it is recommended you consult with a personal injury attorney. They have the experience of navigating insurance companies and their tactics to reduce compensation for injured people.
What Should I Do After the Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident or similar incident, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the other driver’s insurance company does not have evidence to place liability on you or attempt to lower compensation.
- Get a police report- Call the police after the accident to get a police report that highlights all the details of the case. Some police reports also detail liability, making it easier to show insurance companies that their client is at fault.
- Take photos or videos- Always take photos or videos of the accident and injuries. This can be key to helping you determine the value of your claim.
- Get Medical Attention- Delaying medical attention or failing to follow medical treatment plans are a sure way to get insurance companies to fight your claim. Be sure to get prompt medical attention and save the expense reports for treatments for future reference.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer- Sitting down with a personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether it is a good idea to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. They will advise you whether to even speak with the insurance company or what to say if you do.
Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With Insurance Problems?
Speaking to an insurance company can sometimes cause you more trouble than you think. If you’ve spoken with the insurance company of another driver and they argue you have more liability than you actually do, failed to get the proper medical treatment for your injuries and made them worse, or that you accepted fault at the scene of the accident, they will attempt to lower the compensation amount or deny your claim. Getting a personal injury lawyer can help.
A personal injury attorney can be by your side when it comes to the tricky process of insurance claims or speaking with an insurance adjuster. If the other driver’s insurance company does not want to provide compensation, a personal injury lawyer can represent you in a lawsuit to attempt to recover the damages of the accident. Though insurance companies can seem very intimidating after an accident, your worries can be eased with the help of a dedicated legal professional by your side.
Visit a San Diego personal injury attorney today to review your case, seek advice for dealing with insurance companies, and start the process for fighting for your rightfully owed compensation!