What Should You Not Say to Your Insurance Company After an Accident?
After you are injured in a car accident, you will need to report the incident to your insurance company and the insurance of the other drivers involved. Even if the other driver is at fault, you will likely need to talk to your own insurance provider at least once. Whether or not you think the accident was your fault, there are certain do’s and don’ts when talking to the insurance company. We lay out below some of the things you should avoid saying to the insurance company after an accident. Call a seasoned Pasadena car accident attorney for help if you’ve been hurt in a southern California traffic accident.
Do not admit fault.
You should briefly explain that an accident occurred to the insurance company without giving an opinion as to who was at fault. Admitting fault can severely limit your recovery and cause you to have to pay for the other driver’s damage and injuries. This tip extends to apologizing (to the insurance provider or the other driver) and to admitting to unproven facts that that could hurt your case, such as by saying, “Well, I was on my phone and…”
You should also avoid making an official statement about the accident to your claims adjuster during your initial call. Generally, you should avoid making an official statement on the record about the details of the accident to anyone other than your personal injury lawyer and the police on the scene. Talk to your attorney about what additional details to give the insurance company at a later date.
Do not downplay your injuries.
People tend to tell everyone that they are “fine” after an accident. Your insurance provider is not your friend, and they are not your family. You should not falsely claim you are uninjured. Even if you think you are unhurt after an accident, you should still see a doctor. You may have a latent injury, such as organ damage or whiplash, that you have not yet noticed. Any statement that you are unhurt will be used to limit your claims.
Do not grant unfettered access to your medical records.
Insurance companies want to review your medical history to see if they can find some preexisting injury or condition in order to limit your benefits. Do not give them that authority. You can provide certain medical records relating to your current injury to your claims adjuster. They do not need your entire history. Frankly, they do not need to know much about your medical treatment at the outset. You can tell them that you plan to see a doctor about your injuries, but you should not go into the matter with your claims adjuster any further at that time.
Do not accept a settlement without talking to a lawyer.
Your insurance provider may try to give you a quick settlement offer right off the bat in exchange for you dropping your claims. Do not accept any offer lightly. Talk to an attorney about your accident, your injuries, and the offer, before you accept any settlement amount. Chances are, they are lowballing you, and you can get much more. You do not want to be left with a small lump sum and then realize down the line you have significant, uncovered medical expenses.
Call for Help After a Pasadena Car Crash
If a negligent driver in southern California has hurt you or someone you care about, speak with an attorney who understands your concerns and can protect your interests with zeal and compassion. Call Pasadena car accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.