A car accident can be a traumatic, terrifying time. Whether your injuries are small or life-threatening, the experience of being in a car accident is one that can make talking to insurance companies difficult. When you are already stressed from the accident, having a rational conversation with an insurance representative is the last thing you want to do. Eventually, you will have to deal with your insurance company, but this guide offers you tips on what you should not say to your insurance company after an accident.
Say Nothing Immediately Following the Accident
Contacting the insurance company following an accident is legally required, but you do not have to call them immediately following the incident.
Some insurance companies have specified amounts of time in which you are required to call following an accident. But take a few minutes to assess the situation, work with the police and seek immediate medical attention if necessary.
Never Admit Fault or Apologize
When contacting an insurance company, some people feel compelled to apologize for their role in the car accident. Under no circumstance should you apologize to the insurance company. You should also never admit any fault in the accident, even if you were cited by a police officer at the scene.
If you apologize or admit fault, this can be used to offer you a lower settlement. It can also be used against you later in court if the case ends up going to trial.
Do Not Discuss Your Injuries
Insurance agents will typically try to discuss your injuries. Do not tell them that you are uninjured. After an accident, you have adrenaline pumping through your system which might mask or delay the onset of injury symptoms.
Avoid Any Statement That Is Merely an Opinion
If you are asked a question and you do not know the answer, simply say that you do not know. Giving an opinion or an estimate for an answer can damage any settlement or be used against you in a lawsuit. Frequently, insurance companies will ask you about speeds, distances and places and you will not know the answer. Tell the truth, and do not give your “best guess.”
Do Not Agree to an Official Statement
Official statements are recorded by the insurance company and can easily be used in any future lawsuits. Although insurance companies may try to get an official statement immediately, you do not have to give an official statement before you have discussed your case with an experienced car accident attorney. Giving an official statement without speaking to an attorney first may allow your words to be misconstrued or used against you.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault and have sustained any type of property damage or injury, you should strongly consider contacting an attorney like The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers, P.C.. If you have to file a claim, neither your insurance company nor the insurance company of the other party will be looking out for the best settlement. Instead, they will be looking for best way to save money, and that often results in accepting a smaller claim outside of court. We will look out for your best interests and help you fight for the settlement that you deserve.