After a car accident, you must report the incident to your insurance company to start the claims process. This step is necessary to get the compensation required to repair damages to your vehicle and pay for medical treatment for your injuries.
However, when reporting the incident, remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. If you say too much or the wrong thing, they can use your words against you to reduce or deny your claim.
It is up to you to protect your right to compensation, and the best way to do this is to know what you should not say to your insurance company.
Remember, what you do and say after an accident can impact your case in many ways.
“It Was My Fault” or “I Am Sorry”
Do not admit fault for the accident. When describing what happened, only state the facts. Leave your opinions about the situation out.
Once you have reported the facts, leave it to the insurance companies to determine who is at fault for the incident. Sometimes, you do not know about factors that played a role in the accident, such as a distracted driver, missing traffic signs, or faulty vehicle components.
Even if you are found at fault for the accident, the other driver may have also contributed to it. Because of this, never admit fault or say “I am sorry” to the other driver.
Do Not Claim to Be Fine
When talking to an insurance representative, they will likely ask about your injuries and how you feel. Never say you are fine or that you were not injured. While some physical injuries are immediately noticeable after an accident, others can take hours, days, or longer to show symptoms.
After a car accident, you may feel sore and bruised all over. It can take time to determine your injuries and how severe they are. If you tell the insurance adjuster you are not injured, then find out in the next few days that you are, you may not be able to recover compensation for the injuries.
In some situations, the insurance company may try to deny your claim. Even in situations where they do not do this, there could be delays in your case.
Avoid Giving Details About the Case or Your Life
The information in the police report and from the other driver may give insurance adjusters some insight into your injuries. They will likely want to hear more about these from you. Some questions may include the extent of your injuries, the types of treatment you are undergoing, and how much work you have missed.
Do not attempt to answer these questions. While there is no need to be rude, you can explain to the insurance representative that you can give this information to them when you better understand your injuries, how severe they are, and the impact they will have on your life.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement has one purpose – to help the insurance company have ammunition to reduce or deny your claim. Sometimes, recorded statements are carefully analyzed to find inconsistencies or contradictory information.
Also, the information in the recording may be used out of context and against you. Also, you have no legal obligation to provide the insurance company with a recorded statement, so a good strategy is to avoid doing this.
You should only give a recorded statement if your attorney recommends it.
Only Provide the Information Requested
Only provide information that you are asked specifically. Do not volunteer that information if you are not asked what your speed was when the accident occurred. You should not mention that you have a customized vehicle or that it is used for rideshare services.
Anything you say (even if it seems unrelated) can be used against you when you file an insurance claim. You can avoid this situation by only answering the questions you are asked and sticking to the facts.
Do Not Say You Have No Attorney
If an insurance adjuster discovers you have yet to hire an attorney, they may try to take advantage of this. An accident victim without an attorney is likelier to accept a low offer than one with legal representation.
Without an attorney, the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement. If you accept this offer, you must sign a document that disallows you from suing again for the same accident.
You should not accept this offer because, without an attorney, the insurance company will likely “lowball” the offer they give you. An experienced lawyer can negotiate the settlement offer on your behalf to help ensure it is fair based on the value of your case.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in Long Island for Help with Your Car Accident Case
You have certain legal rights if you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, by hiring an attorney from The Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, you can receive quality legal representation that meets and exceeds your outcome.
While no result is guaranteed in these cases, you can count on our legal team to work aggressively on your case. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and needs.