Knowing what not to do after a car accident is almost as important as knowing what you should do. This is most critical when it comes to dealing with insurance companies.
Despite the friendly guardian image they try to project in their commercials, they don’t want to pay you if they can possibly avoid it. So the key is to stop yourself before you say something they can use against you to deny a claim. To protect yourself, avoid saying these five things when you are talking to insurance companies.
1. Don’t Say You’re Sorry
After an accident, you don’t want to say anything that can make it appear as though you are admitting fault for the accident. Even if you think you are to blame, investigation may later prove that someone else’s actions are really the cause.
Many times, our instinct leads us to say “I’m sorry” just to be polite. We’re saying we’re sorry it happened at all. But those words can be used by an insurance company to demonstrate that you are accepting responsibility for causing the accident, even if that’s not what you meant at all. Don’t give them a chance to use your words against you.
2. Don’t Speculate About the Cause of the Accident
The insurance company will ask many questions, and it’s likely that you will not know the answer to all of those questions. It is perfectly acceptable to say “I don’t know.” Limit your answers to facts that you are certain of.
In particular, avoid the temptation to speculate about what someone else did, why they did it, or anything related to the accident. Investigation will eventually lead us to discover the cause of the accident, but again, you don’t want to give the insurance company any statement they can use against you later.
3. Don’t Tell Them You Want the Matter to Be Over with Quickly
You certainly wish the accident never happened and yes, you would like everything to be taken care of so you can try to put your life back together. Just don’t admit that to the insurance company.
If they get the sense that you are anxious to conclude matters, they may pressure you to accept a settlement amount that is far lower than you’re entitled to. If you don’t want to be pressured, don’t give them an opening to do it.
4. Don’t Say You’re Okay
You might not feel hurt after an accident. You might believe you came through just fine. But all the adrenaline in your system can mask symptoms of injuries. Or you may be suffering from injuries that don’t become obvious until several days later.
You need to get a thorough medical exam and even after that, wait a few days before you fully assess your condition. If you tell the insurance company you’re not hurt and later discover injuries, they are likely to claim that they are not related to the accident.
5. Don’t Tell Them You Don’t Have a Lawyer Yet.
When insurance companies realize that you aren’t getting professional legal advice, they are likely to tempt you to accept a low settlement quickly, before you have the time to consult an attorney. Most people do not realize the true value of their damage claim, and they often forfeit their rights to a full recovery.
We urge you to contact an attorney for assistance as soon as possible after an accident, but if you haven’t yet, you don’t need to admit it. You always have a lawyer with Johnnie Bond Law.
If the insurance company asks, you can tell them you haven’t made your final choice of legal counsel, but that soon after you do, they will be hearing from them. When insurance companies know that you’re working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, they know they won’t be able to trick you into accepting less than you’re entitled to.
Let Johnnie Bond Law Help After a Car Accident
At Johnnie Bond Law, we know how to handle insurance companies, and we can keep them from pressuring you after an accident. We can help investigate the causes of the accident and fight for the best possible outcome from your case, including the right medical care for your recovery.
Contact us now to learn more about the ways we can help.