The Insurance Company Called After My Accident; Now What?
Insurance companies are big businesses. They are only interested in making a profit. If you have been in an accident, the insurance companies will do whatever they can to limit what they have to pay you. The less they have to pay out to you, the more money they make. Here are some tips on what not to do after you have been in an accident that will help the insurance company’s tactics to be much less effective.
Do Not Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other insurance company calls, they will probably want you to give a recorded statement and say “we just want to talk to you” or “we would like your side of the story”. The truth is they really don’t care about your side of the story. They are merely hoping you say something they can use against you to limit the amount of damages they have to pay you. Don’t give them that chance. You do not have any ethical, legal or contractual obligation to talk to them. Remember, the other driver’s insurance company is NOT your insurance company! Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself and your rights.
Do Not Give a Written Statement
You should not give a written statement to the insurance company for the same reasons that you don’t give them a verbal one. No matter how nice and friendly they may be, you should not give them anything without consulting your personal injury attorney first. That insurance adjuster is not your friend. Consult with your attorney to protect yourself.
Do Not Release Your Medical Records
The insurance company will ask you to sign unlimited medical authorizations. This is an insurance company tactic to try and find any physical problem you have ever had, even as a child, in order to find some pre-existing condition or any other way to limit your damages. Do not help them do this by giving them your medical records. Contact your attorney and let us determine what is relevant to your claim.
Do Not Accept a Settlement without Talking to Your Attorney
You have no idea if the injuries you sustained in the accident will affect you later on in life. The insurance company knows that. They will try to get you to settle for a small amount of damages if they know you are not represented by a personal injury attorney. If the insurance company asks you to sign a release, the payment you get from them at that time will be all the money you will ever get for your injuries. You don’t know how long you will miss work. You don’t know how long you will have to be in physical therapy. You don’t know what you will have to pay for medical costs related to the accident in the future. You may not be able to enjoy your life and hobbies as you did before the accident. You need the advice of a personal injury attorney.
Do Not Agree to Sell Your Car as a Property Settlement
Your car is evidence of your accident. It is proof of the damages to your vehicle and the severity of the crash. If you let the other insurance company buy it then it will probably be destroyed, especially if it was a total loss. We understand you need transportation, so if you must sell it, at least take good photographs of the damage. However, it might be necessary to have an expert look at it. Consult with your attorney prior to releasing the vehicle. Proper steps should be taken to properly preserve any evidence, but especially the condition of your vehicle.
Contact a St. Louis Car Crash Attorney
If you have been in an accident and you are being hounded by the insurance company, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to protect you and your rights.