There will be many things on your to-do list after a car accident, even it if wasn’t a very serious accident. You may need to seek medical attention. You will need to get contact information from the other driver. And you will likely need to bring your vehicle into a mechanic or auto body shop for repairs.
But one of the most frustrating tasks on your to-do list may be communicating with your insurance company. It turns out that what you do and say in the aftermath of a car accident can significantly affect your claim.
Reporting the Accident: Keep it Minimal
If you’ve been involved in an accident with another driver, you are required to report the accident to your insurer (and you’ll likely need to file a police report as well). When talking to your insurer, the wisest move is often to give only enough information to satisfy the reporting requirement. Here are some important tips for speaking with your insurer:
Don’t discuss fault – there will be time to sort those details out later. But if you give statements either admitting partial fault or even speculating that the other driver was to blame, it could be used against you later when it comes time for the insurer to pay your claim.
Don’t categorically deny being injured – The truth is that you may not know if you are injured until you’ve been checked out by a doctor. Some injuries are not felt right away, particularly when you are still filled with adrenaline from the accident. You might be surprised by how your insurer will try to use what you initially say after an accident to limit or deny your claim later on. Therefore, saying less is the safer option.
Don’t agree to give an official statement – Insurance companies want to get you on the record as soon as possible. They may ask you to give an official statement over the phone or to sign a statement that they type up and send to you. Please don’t agree to anything “official” until you’ve had time to consider it and to speak with an attorney.
An Attorney Can Be A Big Help
If you suspect that you may need to file a personal injury suit, it is a good idea to seek the help of an attorney as soon as reasonably possible. In addition to representing you in court, your attorney can also be your representative when dealing with your insurance company. He or she will ensure that any settlement offers are in your best interests and that your rights are not violated during the claims process.
If you’d like to know more about how our firm can help you after a car accident, give us a call to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney today.