What Should I Say to the Other Driver’s Insurance Provider?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tom Metier with Metier Law Firm.
Talking to another driver’s insurance provider following an accident can be daunting and stressful; in some cases it may even feel like the other driver’s provider wants to trap you into saying something that would fully or partially admit your own liability for the event, even if you were not at fault. Unfortunately, this feeling might be perfectly valid. It’s important to remember that insurance companies make money by holding onto policyholder premiums, not by paying out claims.
In fact, insurance adjusters are trained to ask accident victims a wide variety of questions, the answers of which could make them ineligible to receive compensation, even if these answers are taken out of context. This is why it is highly recommended to avoid communicating directly with the other driver’s insurance provider following an accident; in fact, it may be wise to avoid communicating directly with your own as well. The good news is that experienced car accident attorneys can handle this communication on your behalf, and know exactly what to say or not say in order to protect you, your case, and opportunities for recovery.
Anything you say about an accident can be used against you.
This rule applies to communications with insurance providers as well as things said at the scene of the accident, to the other driver, on social media, and even to family and friends. This is why attorneys typically recommend that accident victims refrain from discussing the case until a thorough investigation has been completed. It is not uncommon for a driver to believe they are fully or partially at fault for an accident, admit liability intentionally or on accident, and only later discover that the other driver was texting at the time of the accident or committing another traffic violation.
Insurance adjusters in particular have a knack for verbally confusing drivers into saying things about the accident that could make them ineligible to file a claim, or which could reduce the amount of the claim they should receive.
If you do communicate with an insurance company, it’s important to give as few details as possible.
While it is not generally recommended to talk to an insurance adjuster without an attorney, if an accident was relatively minor and there were no significant injuries sustained, some drivers may choose to handle their claim alone. When this is the case, it’s important to first and foremost refrain from admitting any kind of liability. Even something as simple as a blanket apology could be taken as an admission of fault by an unscrupulous insurance adjuster looking to increase their company’s profits.
It’s also important to refrain from giving a statement about the accident; an adjuster may insist that you are required to give an official statement, but this is not the case. If you do discuss the accident, it’s important to do so without any kind of detail or assumption of fault.
The best choice in this scenario is to let an attorney do the talking.
Car accident attorneys are well-versed in not only car insurance policy language, but also the methods that insurance adjusters use to reduce or deny otherwise valid claims. While hiring a car accident attorney to talk to insurance companies after an accident might sound like an unnecessary expense, it may help to note that most car accident attorneys offer free consultations and even work on contingency; this means that clients don’t pay for their services unless and until they win their case. A car accident attorney can efficiently and effectively deal with the other driver’s insurance provider as well as your own and can help you investigate the possibility of other forms of recovery while protecting you and your family from further financial distress.
To learn more about what to say to an insurance company after an accident, or to discuss your options after a car accident, reach out to an experienced car accident attorney in your area.