Knowing what to say after a car accident is essential to protecting your rights and maximizing your financial recovery. Insurance companies may use anything you say against you to deny or diminish your claim. Even well-intentioned statements such as saying you are sorry the accident occurred may be taken out of context to assign fault to you. Be careful what information you share when dealing with an insurance company.
Below are common missteps that you should avoid when dealing with insurance companies after a car accident:
- Apologizing – Sympathizing with another driver is normal, especially if the other driver also was hurt in the wreck. However, you should never tell the insurance adjusters you’re sorry or say anything they could misconstrue as you assuming the blame for the accident. The adjuster might view your apology as an admission of liability and use it to deny your claim.
- Playing down your injuries – Never minimize your injuries or tell the insurer that you were uninjured, especially before you have received a full medical evaluation. You could have injuries such as a concussion that you aren’t aware of that only a doctor can diagnose. The insurance company might refuse to pay for future claims if you said initially that you were not injured.
- Providing details – The at-fault driver’s insurer will likely ask for information related to the crash. You’re not legally obligated to tell them anything other than your name, contact information, and other basic details. If they ask about your injuries or ask you to sign a release granting access to your medical file, tell the insurance adjuster to contact your lawyer.
- Offering an opinion – You might think you know how the collision occurred. However, voicing your opinion to the insurance company won’t benefit you. On the contrary, it might give the adjuster what they need to deny or reduce the value of your claim.
- Agreeing to an oral or recorded statement – Politely decline if an insurance adjuster asks you for a statement about the accident. A written statement or recorded conversation could become evidence in your case. If you remember other information later and try to inform the insurer later, they might think you are trying to change your story. Wait to provide a statement until after you have consulted with an attorney.
- Accepting an offer quickly – Accepting the first settlement offer from an insurer might seem tempting, but you should consult a personal injury lawyer first. An insurance company’s first offer is typically a low offer. Settling a claim too soon can mean walking away with far less money than you need to pay all your medical expenses. If you accept an offer before you finish treating your injury, you might not get the money you need to cover future treatment costs.
The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover has more than 30 years of experience representing injured clients in San Antonio. Our attorneys can handle every aspect of your accident case, including all communication with the insurance companies. To learn more about how we can help, call or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Information Should You Share with Your Insurer After a Car Accident?
When you talk to your insurance company after an accident, be sure to share the following information:
- The date of the collision
- The location of the crash, including the address or nearby intersecting roads
- Your name and the names of other drivers involved in the accident
- Your contact information
- The make, model, color, and license plate number of your vehicle
- Your insurance policy number
- The other driver’s insurance information
How Can Your Statements to Your Insurer Affect Your Car Accident Case?
While you might think the insurance company wants to help you get back on your feet after an accident, its primary objective is to limits its liability and pay the lowest amount possible to close claims. Adjusters often try to get claimants to make statements that can be used to minimize a claim.
You can protect yourself by giving the insurer only the basic details they need for your claim and nothing more. Beyond that, you don’t have to say anything. If they try to pressure you into providing more information, politely inform them to contact your attorney.
Speaking to the Other Party’s Insurance Company – Is It Recommended After a Car Accident?
Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company is not recommended. State law does not require you to notify the other side’s insurer after a wreck. Your only obligation is to notify your own insurance company of the accident.
If you hire a car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we can handle all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf. That way, you avoid making statements that could negatively affect the outcome of your case.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Experienced San Antonio Car Accident Attorneys
A car crash can be frightening, painful, and financially devastating. Managing the claims process can be overwhelming for accident victims, especially when they face a long recovery. You don’t want to take on the challenge without the help of an experienced legal team.
At the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we have fought for thousands of accident victims since opening our firm more than 30 years ago. Our case results include six and seven-figure awards for people who were seriously injured in car accidents. We approach each car accident case with the same determination to help our clients rebuild their lives.
If you sustained injuries in a car crash due to someone else’s negligence, call or contact us online for a free consultation with a San Antonio car accident attorney. We’re available 24/7 to review your case and answer your questions.