After being involved in a car accident, you might experience a whirlwind of emotions and it can be quite terrifying. Even if you are lucky enough to not be seriously hurt, the stress, worry and anxiety after a car accident feels awful, and could lead you to act or speak in a way that might compromise your best interests when it comes to your case.
In fact, your insurance company or that of the other driver might be waiting for you to say the wrong thing. For example, apologizing at the scene might feel natural to you if the other driver has been hurt or their car is wrecked. But while you might be saying sorry just to be nice, insurance companies might take this as an admission of fault and hold you liable for the accident, even if you weren’t at fault.
What to Say to the Insurance Company After an Accident
You will likely get a call from the claim adjuster from your insurance company around a few days after the accident, in which they will want to get more information on the details of what happened. It’s important to bear in mind that insurance companies are looking out for themselves rather than you. Because of this, you need to be prepared for them to be looking out for any reasons to reduce your payout as much as they can. The best way to avoid giving them anything to use to do this is to say nothing at all and hire an experience personal injury attorney. If you find that you must provide a statement keep your conversation as short and to the point as possible. Some tips to keep in mind include:
Give General Information
When speaking to your insurance company, you are only obligated to provide general or basic details about the accident. This includes personal information about yourself such as your name, the type of car you were driving when the accident happened, the other cars involved, the names of other people involved in the accident, where the accident happened, when it happened, and information on the other driver’s insurance company.
Don’t Provide a Recorded Statement
You are not under any legal obligation to provide a recorded statement to your insurance company. It is important to avoid recording a final verbal statement, without consulting a good car accident or personal injury lawyer beforehand, who can help you do this in a way that is in the best interests of your case.
Don’t Be Too Specific
Even if you have got medical attention after being involved in the accident and are aware of the extent of your injuries, it is important to avoid giving a detailed description of them or providing a final statement regarding your injuries to the insurance company. This is because after a car crash, injuries may appear later down the line, especially if you have internal injuries that are not always obvious. Along with this, there is also the risk of your current injuries escalating into something more serious.
What You Should Never Say After a Car Accident
Whether you are talking to the insurance company, the other driver involved, or witnesses at the scene, it’s important to choose your words carefully after a car accident. The vocabulary that you use could lead to problems with your case after a car accident, even if you said them innocently or meaning well. Some things that you should always avoid saying after a car accident include:
Even if you are simply the type of person who apologizes a lot and you feel bad for the other driver involved, apologizing to them is always a bad idea. Even if you think that you might be at fault for the accident, don’t say sorry to the other driver. This is because any witnesses to the interaction might see this as an admission of guilt or taking responsibility for the accident.
That You Don’t Have an Attorney
If you are contacted by your insurance company before you have had the chance to get in touch with us here at Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys, the last thing you should do is admit to them that you don’t have a lawyer yet. If your insurance company knows that you do not have any legal representation, they might try to reduce your compensation. For example, they may offer a quick settlement, which will typically be significantly lower than the amount you could have received.
Let’s Handle It Ourselves
You should always tell your insurance company about any car accidents that you are involved in. It’s not uncommon if you have a minor crash that only causes a little bit of damage to your car, and has not led to any serious injuries, to consider simply not telling your insurance company about it, getting the cars fixed and getting on with your life. However, it’s important to resist the urge to avoid reporting a car accident, especially if it was only a fender bender. The truth is that you may be due compensation for any crash, and not reporting a car accident to your insurance company will only make it harder to receive the payout you are owed.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, then it’s important to carefully choose the words you use at the scene and when talking to your insurance company. Get in touch with our experienced lawyers today if you need advice on what to say. Call us at 877-557-4221.