Insurance companies will reach out to accident victims shortly after a crash or collision to obtain a recorded statement about the accident. Do you need to talk to them and tell them what happened?
The answer is “No.”
You should politely inform them that you are being represented by (or will be seeking representation from) legal counsel. If we’re already representing you, you can feel free to give them our firm’s name. If you have not yet spoken to us, you can also obtain their contact information, and tell the person that they can expect to hear back from your attorney. You should also tell them that you are not willing to speak on a recorded line.
Why Shouldn’t I Speak to the Insurance Company for the Other Driver?
It is not always in your best interest to give a statement to the Insurance company. In fact, you are not required to give such statement and depending on the situation, it could significantly hurt your case during the settlement process or at trial.
In addition to getting information about the crash, the agent for the other insurance company will be particularly interested in getting you to say things that are against your best interest so that they can avoid or minimize payment. More specifically, they will be asking you questions such as the following:
- Were you hurt? Often, right after a crash, a person may be very sore. They may believe that the pain will quickly subside, and in fact not realize that they have been more severely injured, and that they may have sustained a permanent injury. By getting you to say that you were not injured or not injured severely, they will use this against you later to try to make it seem as if you’re changing your story.
- Did you go to the emergency room right away? This is another attempt to see if the severity of an injury can be minimized. Often, crash victims may be in shock and want to go home, believing that they are not severely injured. Then, once the shock wears off, they find that they are in incredible pain, and seek medical treatment.
- Who was at fault? Did you apologize? This is another trick question. The other insurance company uses these and similar questions to try to get a victim to admit fault (or at least say that they were somewhat responsible).
Soft Tissue Injuries and Vehicle Crashes
Many vehicle crashes result in what are known as “soft tissue” injuries, such as whiplash/neck injury, back injury, or injury to other muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries often will not appear on x-rays or CT scans; however, they can very painful, and often take a long time to heal (sometimes never healing).
Because these types of injuries may not show up on x-rays or CT scans, the insurance company for the at-fault driver may contend that they don’t exist, or that they did not occur. This is a tactic often used to minimize liability and damages. Insurance companies frequently try to tie an injury victim’s recorded statements about not being seriously injured to the claimed soft tissue injuries by implying that the victim later may be making up the soft tissue injuries (or that the victim may be saying that the injuries are much worse than actually is the case).
This is another reason why an injury victim should decline to speak in detail about a crash with the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
Depositions and Trial
If you bring a lawsuit, this will be the proper time that the lawyers for the insurance company and their driver will be entitled to ask you questions under oath. If your case goes to trial, they will also be entitled to ask you questions under oath at that time.
How We Protect the Rights of Our Clients
To ensure that your rights are protected, contact a lawyer to discuss your crash and injuries.
At our firm, we represent clients by:
- Bringing a lawsuit and representing their claim against those believed to be legally liable
- Seeking to negotiate a fair settlement for the injuries and damages sustained.
- Pursuing motorist coverage and medical payments coverage from your own insurance company to the extent that such coverage is available.
- Collecting evidence to be presented to protect your claim for full financial compensation for your injuries.
- Taking their case to trial if an acceptable settlement cannot be reached.
We offer a free consultation, and accept injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis.
Please feel free to call us to learn how we can help you today!