Answering Questions from an Insurance Company After a Car Crash
One strategy that many insurance companies use to try to deny or minimize the value of a claim is to contact an accident victim in the days or even hours after an accident. They know victims are vulnerable and may be likely to say something that hurts the value of their claim.
If you receive a call from an insurance company after a collision, it is important that you are careful with the information you provide. The Macon car accident lawyers at Roden Law are available to discuss the claims process and manage it on your behalf if we find you have a valid case.
What if They Call Me?
You are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company if they call. You can refer them to your lawyer.
If you do decide to speak with the insurance company, be cautious. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize the value of your claim. The adjuster is not trying to protect you or give you a settlement that is fair. He or she is likely trying to get information to use against you.
Here are some guidelines to follow when answering questions from the insurance company to help protect the value of your claim:
- Do not comment on your injuries. Avoid saying you are “fine.” You may not know the full extent of your injuries, so simply inform the adjuster that you are receiving medical treatment or that your lawyer will provide updates as necessary.
- Only answer the questions asked. Do not volunteer information.
- Do not agree to have your statement recorded.
- Stick to the facts. Avoid giving an opinion about anything.
- Write down the adjuster’s name and information. You may need this information later.
- Do not guess answers. If you do not know the answer to something, it is fine to say so.
- Write notes during the conversation to keep track of the questions and answers you provide.
- Be honest. Do not lie or exaggerate.
Ways Insurers May Try to Devalue Your Claim
Insurance adjusters may use various tactics to try to devalue your claim, such as:
Asking for a Recorded Statement
The adjuster may claim that a recorded statement will speed up the process, but this statement may be used against you.
For example, evidence could be collected later that contradicts what you say in a recorded statement, hurting your credibility. A recorded statement may also be an incomplete account of the accident and your injuries. Unfortunately, the value of your claim may be limited by this inaccurate account.
Asking You to Sign a Medical Release Authorization
The insurance adjuster may convince you to sign a medical release form to gain access to your medical records. However, the document you sign may provide for the release of medical records that are not relevant to the accident. The insurance company may use this to deny your claim based on a preexisting condition.
Trying to Convince You That a Lawyer is Not Necessary
The insurance adjuster may try to get you to talk to him or her without consulting with a lawyer. He or she may also urge you not to hire a lawyer.
However, personal injury victims who decide to hire a lawyer often receive more compensation than those who do not.
Learn More During a Free Consultation
If you have been contacted by an insurance company after a car accident, you do not have to deal with them alone. If you have a valid claim, the attorneys at our firm can handle all communication with insurance companies and work to negotiate a fair settlement for your damages.
Contact the licensed lawyers at Roden Law to schedule a free case review. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we charge nothing unless we recover compensation for your claim.