After you’ve been in a car accident, one of your first (non-emergency) thoughts is probably to call your insurance company. This is important, of course, because you are typically required to report accidents to your insurer as well as filing a police report.
But before you make that call, take time to consider what you should and shouldn’t say. Despite the fact that you pay premiums on a car insurance policy, your insurance company isn’t working for you, and may not even be working in your best interests. Instead, they are trying to make a profit, which they do by limiting or denying claims. As such, the things you say when speaking to your insurer could be used against you later on.
Below are some tips to remember when communicating about an accident with your insurer.
Should You Discuss Fault?
One driver is typically considered at fault for a car accident. But sometimes accidents are nobody’s fault, and other times, both drivers share some blame. You may not know right away who is responsible for the crash, and that’s fine, because you don’t have to discuss it with your during that initial phone call. If you feel like you were even partially at fault for the crash, you likely want to avoid saying that, as it could cause your insurer to deny or limit your claim.
Get yourself checked out by a medical professional before you report on the status of your injuries. Sometimes people tell their insurers that they weren’t hurt, only to find out later that they actually were injured. If it is in their financial interest to do so, your insurer might take your first statement on the matter not let you change it later.
Should You Talk To An Attorney?
If you think there’s a chance that you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as soon as reasonably possible. You should likely do it before giving your official statement to your insurance company. In fact, if you do hire an attorney, he or she can actually represent you in any discussions with insurers so that you don’t need to worry about what to say.
Insurance companies have incentives that are not always in your best interests, but personal injury attorneys usually don’t collect legal fees unless they help you recover money. Therefore, you can trust that your attorney shares your goals and will work toward the best outcome for you.