Attorneys will always tell you to avoid mistakes that can cost you money after a car accident. You can harm your case based on what you say to your insurance company, even if the other driver caused the accident.
Lawyers tell you to get legal help right after an accident because you can make a mistake that can cloud your legal prospects. Your insurance company can turn ruthless and unforgiving if your interests conflict with theirs.
You should not put yourself in a position where loose talk or an error in judgment can harm your case. Hiring an attorney takes most matters out of your hands and gives your lawyer overall responsibility for the legal process. Your Denver car accident attorney will take over all communications with insurance companies, yours included, to minimize any chance of a costly error.
Any Insurance Company Can Use Anything That You Say Against You
Choose carefully what you tell your insurance company after an accident. While you must report the accident, one misplaced statement or word at the wrong time can cost you thousands of dollars or more.
Never think that your interests and those of your own insurance company align. Your insurance company is a for-profit business, and your financial recovery does not matter much to them. The company wants to avoid liability and a payment obligation to anyone, even a policyholder, to the fullest extent possible.
You May Need to File a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Policy at Some Point
The most common situation where your interests diverge from your insurance company’s is when the other driver does not carry enough insurance coverage to pay for your injuries fully. Hopefully, you took advantage of the opportunity your insurance company was obligated to afford you, and you purchased underinsured motorist coverage.
If you did, your insurance company may owe you money. Then, you can expect your insurance company to turn on you quickly. The company you thought was on your side will make your life difficult to protect their financial interests.
Many people in this position find their insurance company tries to blame and shortchange them. They often end up with inadequate compensation because they believed what their insurance representative told them.
Instead of leaving yourself at the mercy of your insurance company, always hire a car accident attorney to handle all communications for you. They can protect your interests, and you need such protection even if you are the policyholder.
You Cannot Trust Any Insurance Company Enough to Speak Freely to Them
You can never fully trust any insurance company if they need to pay you. They can use anything you say against you if it means the company can shave some of what they will need to pay you. Even if you believe your comments are harmless, an insurance representative might see things otherwise.
Once you say something, the insurance company acts like it is on the record forever. They will not hesitate to use it against you at every opportunity. Your insurance company may even take things out of context to save a few dollars. The adjuster may have a recording of you speaking, or they may strongly insist that they heard you say something. Then, it becomes your word against that of the adjuster.
Do Not Admit Fault Under Any Circumstances
Perhaps the worst thing you can say to any insurance company is that the accident was your fault. Even if you do not use the exact words that accept responsibility for the crash, you can say something that appears to indicate that you did something wrong.
You may think you are just describing what you thought happened, but the adjuster will take notes about everything. For example, if you admit that you broke the speed limit, even if the other driver appears to largely be at fault, it will greatly complicate your legal prospects.
The insurance company may blame you for the accident. They know they can save money at your expense. When the insurance companies apportion liability, your own carrier does not necessarily have the incentive to fight for you if you are less than 50 percent to blame for the accident. What you say now can result in a smaller check, even if you did not intend to admit any degree of fault.
Do Not Minimize Your Injuries
Never say anything that minimizes the extent of your injuries. Certainly, you should never lie and exaggerate your injuries because it will come back to haunt you in the future. Similarly, never downplay your physical condition. Let your claim and your medical records speak for themselves.
For example, you should not say, “I’m okay,” or “It’s not as bad as it looks.” The insurance company is not going to forget those words. Even if you just want to look strong, these words can cost you money in the future. “I’m okay” may seem harmless, but a motivated and self-interested insurance company can use that as a definitive statement of your medical condition if they have the opportunity to save money at your expense.
Stick Only to the Facts that You Know for Certain
If you speak to an insurance company, stick to a very limited version of the facts in response to the questions asked. The insurance company will ask you open-ended questions to get you talking as much as possible. In their calculus, the more you talk, the more they potentially have to use against you if they need it.
Thus, avoid going into too much detail about the accident, your injuries, or your overall physical recovery. You never know what statements might undermine your case that you never had to say in the first place.
Never give your opinion on what happened during the accident. The facts of your accident are the facts, and they speak for themselves. If you editorialize, you venture into uncertain territory that can land you in trouble.
The Insurance Company Wants to Get You Talking
Insurance companies want you to speak to them without legal representation. Adjusters undergo training to gather information from claimants – or potential claimants – to minimize payments. They will often say there is no harm in going over the details of the accidents, discussing your injuries, or giving a recorded statement.
When adjusters ask you questions about your injuries or what happened, they might seem like they care about your well-being, but they don’t. They want you to start talking so you might say something to go against your claim. The more you talk to them, the greater chance you might say something they can use to the company’s advantage.
It might seem easier to trust your insurance company, as having their help is simpler than finding and interviewing car accident attorneys. However, taking this seemingly easy road can hurt your claim and financial future.
Never blindly trust your insurance company; always consult an accident lawyer about your legal rights and how to proceed. They can guide your communications from there.
You must exercise caution when talking to your insurance company, but even more so when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.
First, you have no obligation to speak with them, no matter what they say. Second, if they try to contact you, end the conversation politely but as soon as possible.
Hire a lawyer and politely refer all further communications to the law firm. This is the best way to protect yourself and the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Hiring an Attorney Quickly Can Help You Avoid Errors
You have every reason to hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury. There is little upside in trying to navigate the claims process on your own. You will even need counsel on speaking to your insurance company, lest you say something that damages your legal case.
You never quite know what you may say when you are experiencing trauma and emotional distress from the accident. You may not even remember saying something, only to find out the insurance company will use it against you months later.
A car accident lawyer can tell you what you should not say after an accident. They may help you when it comes to speaking with both insurance companies (you are under no obligation to speak with the other driver’s insurance company). Your attorney will serve as your primary point of contact, which can keep you from making a costly mistake.
You Do Not Have to Pay a Lawyer Out of Your Pocket
The contingency fee system makes it easier for you to hire a lawyer right after a car accident. You can have an attorney working on your behalf within hours if you and your family make a concerted attempt to find the right counsel. You do not have the obstacle standing in your way of having to write a large check as you may have in other cases. You do not have to come up with any money to get legal help today.
Your lawyer does not work for free, but they will not charge any legal fees if you do not win your case. Not hiring an attorney promptly threatens to undo your prospects of full and fair financial compensation because it leaves you to your own devices.
When talking to a clever and experienced insurance company representative, most people have no idea how to handle themselves. These companies make money by preying on individual claimants and getting them to compromise their cases in any way possible.
Your Car Accident Attorney Does the Heavy Lifting in a Car Accident Case
Your attorney will handle all the details of your case, including all insurance communications. They will be the primary point of contact for anyone who wants to talk to you. If your insurance company wants to ask about the crash, they must go through your lawyer first.
You can focus on your recovery and take comfort in knowing that someone is protecting you from an unintentional error. The alternative is that you risk somehow compromising your claim and receiving much less than you deserve.
Even one wrong comment will stay on the insurer’s record, and it can be challenging to undo the damage. Do yourself a critical favor by refraining from detailed conversations with any insurance representatives. Instead, seek immediate assistance from an experienced lawyer at a trusted personal injury law firm in Denver.