Speaking to an insurance adjuster for the first time can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you’re also dealing with injuries, vehicle repairs and other similar inconveniences associated with a car accident. It’s important to know what information to discuss with your insurance company, what your rights are and what things to avoid saying when reviewing the details of the incident.
Here are a few tips to help you know how to deal with your insurance company about the details of your accident:
Tell them about the accident as soon as possible.
It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company right away after an accident to ensure everything gets documented properly. Getting in touch with them quickly will prevent deadlines from being missed and future complications from happening.
Don’t admit fault.
Admitting fault right away to your insurance company is not recommended for a couple of reasons. It may be a situation in which the other person was partially or fully responsible for the accident, and you’re not aware of it. It might also be a situation where you feel pressured into taking the blame for the incident because the other person has pressured you into thinking you caused it. Whatever the situation, it’s better to speak to a professional to see what your rights are before claiming liability, especially to your insurance company.
Show them all of your own records and documents.
If you weren’t seriously injured during the accident, hopefully you managed to create your own log of photos, witness names and statements, and other information from the scene. Having documentation of the accident (in addition to the police report and other materials) will help make the insurance company’s job easier and will help you be able to prove your side of the accident quickly and efficiently.
Don’t permit them to take any recorded statements.
When you’ve been in an auto accident—especially if it’s your first time—it can be very overwhelming. Many times, insurance companies will try to contact you as soon as possible to offer a settlement before you really have time to think about it. It’s important, though, to deny access to a recorded statement from you, as you may held accountable for that statement later. It’s easy to word something incorrectly or embellish the truth (even without meaning to) and having that turn against you as a result.
Be factual and don’t reveal more than you need to.
When speaking to any insurance company, it’s important to discuss just the facts, and not give any opinionated statements about the accident. You should also avoid taking blame until you’ve received some professional advice—you might not know all the details about what happened, as there may be outside circumstances that affected the accident.
Even if you’re not sure you’ll be fully covered by your insurance company, you always want to make sure you’re being completely truthful about what you’re saying. If you choose to lie and get caught, it could result in loss of coverage or even jail time, so it’s important to give the facts and not embellish anything in hopes of receiving more coverage.
Choose the repair facility for your vehicle.
No matter what is told to you about where you should take your vehicle to be repaired after an accident, you should know that you have the right to choose your preferred repair facility.
Consider letting a lawyer deal with adjusters.
Although we greatly depend on insurance companies to cover our damages after an accident, it’s in their best interest to cover as little as possible so as to make money themselves. If you’re unaware of what to do, what to say or what your rights are after an accident, contacting a personal injury attorney for advice or to handle your insurance adjusters for you is always a good idea.
Learn more about how a personal injury attorney can help you after a car accident by contacting The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen online or at 1-800-33-COHEN today.