Insurance companies are major players in the aftermath of a car accident. However, they deal with car accidents all the time, which means they likely have much more experience dealing with these unfortunate events than you do.
Sometimes insurance companies take advantage of their superior knowledge, which can make dealing with your insurance claim unnecessarily difficult.
There are a few things that you should know before you talk to your insurance company, and a car accident lawyer can help you make sure that the insurance company doesn’t try to pull one over on you!
1. Choose your words carefully when speaking with your own insurance company
The insurance company is very good at twisting words. They may try to blame you for the accident or otherwise limit your coverage. They may even use what you said against you and deny coverage altogether.
You will need to report the accident to your insurance company, so there really is no getting around speaking to them. They will ask you what happened, and you should give your version of the story.
However, you may want to keep your version sparse until you speak with a car accident attorney. Once you speak with an attorney, unfiltered, then he or she can give a very realistic idea of what your insurance company will think of your coverage.
In particular, you will want to be sure that you mention any aches and pains that you have. You should avoid indicating that you are not hurt.
Instead, you may want to mention that you are getting medical attention or will be going to the hospital for an examination. You should also never apologize for being at fault for the accident.
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2. Limit the conversation with the other driver’s insurance company
When you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, you want to say even less. Casting blame may be even easier for the other insurance company, depending on your version of the events.
You will likely need to give the insurance company the basics of the accident, including the when, where, and type of accident, but this should be the only information you provide.
You should also avoid telling the claims adjuster too much personal information. Go ahead and give them your full name, address, and contact information, but keep it to the point.
3. The insurance company may push you to settle right away
Insurance companies like quick settlements because this often means they can close out the case quickly. They may even attempt to get you to settle before you fully appreciate the extent of your injuries.
They may offer you an amount for your medical expenses that simply will not cover your anticipated future medical expenses, which you may not be fully aware of at the time.
Give yourself some time to heal and recover, and consider your settlement offers. Talking to a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer can also help you put an estimated value on your claim.
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4. They will “note” or record everything you say
The insurance company will usually ask you to provide a statement about the accident to them. This statement is usually recorded.
It is also transcribed and analyzed by everyone involved in the case—from the claims adjusters to the lawyers. This reinforces the need to be extremely careful about what you say.
Keep in mind, that you do not have to agree to be recorded, and in many cases you should not give a recorded statement. Talk to a car accident attorney about your specific situation.
The insurance company has to ask your permission to record your conversation, but they do not have to ask to take down what you say as “notes”. These notes are added to your claim file and end up becoming a large part of your case.
5. Talk to a car accident lawyer first
The insurance company will call you right away, so that means that you need to get to a Florida car accident lawyer quickly after your accident.
A car accident lawyer will help you decide what you should and should not discuss with the insurance company, whether it is your own or the other driver’s.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Make a Difference
A car accident lawyer Florida can also help you to determine what your case is worth depending on the type of accident and your injuries. This will help you avoid a situation where you settle too quickly.
You want to be sure that you have enough settlement money to deal with any future problems, and those problems can be difficult to detect on your own.