The steps you take after being involved in a car accident can seriously affect the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit. One of the most important things you should know is that you should not discuss the accident with the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with your attorney.
Even if you choose not to hire an attorney right away, you should engage in a free consultation with a law firm to arm yourself with important information about what to say and what not to say during any conversation with an insurance company.
Conversations between you and an insurance company are almost always recorded. What you say in these moments may dictate how your case moves forward if you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are some common questions and answers related to auto accident insurance conversations and how to protect yourself during these discussions.
Am I Required to Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
Legally, you are not required to discuss the accident with the other driver’s car insurance company. Delaying these conversations could delay the time it takes to get your car repaired or to receive reimbursement for those repairs. However, those bills are often far less than the medical bills and pain and suffering compensation you could seek should you choose to pursue a personal injury case.
You can discuss the accident with your insurance company but there are some drawbacks to discussing the accident with your insurance company as well. It’s best to learn more about auto accident insurance from an attorney before discussing the details of your accident with any insurance company.
If you weren’t injured at the scene, you might think it’s safe to have a conversation with the other driver’s insurance company; while this might be true, you should know that some car accident injuries show up days or even weeks after the accident. The car insurance company could trap you into saying you were not injured and that you feel fine. Those recorded conversations can then be used in court as evidence that your claims of personal injury are false.
When to Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After a Car Accident
Generally, you should only talk to the other driver’s insurance company with your attorney present. At the very least, you should initiate a free consultation with a law firm and discuss the matter with the other driver’s insurance company after your consultation. During your consultation, the attorney will instruct you on how to protect your rights.
The attorney might also explain common questions the insurance company might ask you as part of the post-accident interview. This will help you feel prepared so that you do not say the wrong things or feel flustered during the call.
Practical Tips for Auto Accident Insurance Filing
While we highly recommend hiring an attorney to guide you through the aftermath of an accident, we also realize that some people don’t feel comfortable doing so. That’s why we pride ourselves in serving our community through tips and helpful information that ensure you don’t become victim to insurance company tactics.
Here’s a look at some practical tips for dealing with auto accident insurance after you’ve been involved in a car accident.
- Never tell the insurance company that you feel fine or only have minor injuries, regardless of how you’re feeling. This could be a trap to avoid paying out on your medical bills if you later discover you have late-onset injuries.
- Only answer the questions the insurance company asks. Do not offer additional information as these details might later lead to issues.
- Do not speculate about what happened. Only give factual information and avoid phrases like “I think,” “I feel,” or “maybe.” These leave room for interpretation of the details and can indicate that you are not presenting facts, but opinions. These opinions can be dangerous for your case.
- Request that the adjuster from your car insurance company is present for conversations with the other driver’s insurance company. Your insurance company has a vested interest in ensuring that the other driver’s insurance company does not avoid paying on the claim. Having your adjuster present can help provide factual details about the accident and what the damage to your vehicle showed about how the accident took place.
How to Choose a Car Accident Attorney in Indiana
You have many options when it comes to a car accident attorney in Indiana. As you interview various attorneys in search of the right one for you, here are a few things to look for:
- Experience: Make sure your attorney has many years of experience defending car accident victims.
- Outstanding outcomes: Ask the attorney about cases similar to yours and how much they helped their clients recover.
- Free consultation: A consultation is an opportunity to learn more about the case. You should never have to pay a car accident attorney for this.
- Contingent payment: A good car accident attorney will only charge you if they secure a favorable outcome for you. Make sure your attorney works on a contingent basis so that you don’t have to pay money upfront while your finances are already stretched thin.