Should I Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance After an Accident?
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If you have been in a car accident, then you probably know just how stressful the aftermath can be. From trying to get medical attention for your injuries to replacing damaged property, there is a lot that needs to be done. One of the trickier components of the post-accident process is figuring out how to deal with insurance companies. More specifically, one of the questions that car accident victims often have is, “should I give a statement to the other driver’s insurance?” This is a tough question, and it is one that is probably best answered after getting advice from an experienced car accident attorney.
You Are Not Required to Speak to the Other Insurance Company
At the outset of any potential claim, it is very important to understand that you are in no way obligated to give a statement to the insurance company for the other party. They may call asking for you to give one, but you do not have to. There may circumstances, however, in which it is advisable for you to speak to the opposing insurance party, and these situations will be discussed in the next section.
On the other hand, it is important that you report the accident to your own insurance company after it happens. This is because your insurance policy is essentially a contract between you and the insurance company, and the policy may have deadlines for reporting accidents if you want to make a claim. When reporting the accident, have the basic information ready: time and date of the crash, contact information for the other party, and the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene.
When Should I Speak with Their Insurance Company?
As mentioned previously, there may be situations in which it could actually benefit you to speak to the opposing insurance company. Typically, this will be when the other driver has either refused to talk to their own insurance company, or what they did tell their own insurance company wasn’t truthful. For example, if you had the green light when the other driver ran a red but they are telling their insurance company that they, in fact, had the green light, then this might be a situation where talking to the other insurance could be advisable. Not talking to the insurance company in situations like this could make the process drag on for much longer than necessary. However, even if you believe that the other party was clearly at fault, it might be best to contact an attorney before speaking with the opposing insurance company.
Why Should I Avoid Giving the Other Insurance Company a Statement?
Remember that insurance companies are businesses, and that the goal of any business is to make money. The opposing insurance company does not have your best interests at heart when they reach out to you for a statement. They are looking for evidence that the accident was actually your fault, or that your injuries are not as serious as you are saying that they are. Though it is possible to handle these communications in a way that does not damage any potential claim, it is most often wise to refuse to give a statement to the opposing insurance company.
Tips When Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance
If you do end up speaking with the insurance company on the other side, then there are some ways to minimize any risk of doing damage to your potential claim. Some of these include:
Understand the Implications
Approach any communication with the insurance company with the understanding that anything you say can potentially be used to reduce the value of your claim. What seems like an innocent statement could end up costing you money.
Only Answer the Question Asked
Only give the information that is necessary to answer the question that is asked, and don’t volunteer any extra information. In addition, do not agree to have your statement recorded, whether it is verbal or written.
Don’t Guess or Speculate
Be truthful and honest in your answers. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, it is perfectly fine to respond by saying that you don’t know.
Zinda Law Group May Negotiate with Insurance on Your Behalf
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to handle these communications in a way that preserves your potential claim. Our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of car accident victims get back on their feet. In addition, we believe that a victim of a car accident shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we use a no-win, no-fee policy—if we don’t get win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
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