After a car accident, you may have to deal with other driver’s insurance company. For some, it is surprising how quickly the insurance company begins to take action. However, it is important to know that insurance companies have different roles and different prerogatives. While your insurance may be working on your behalf because they are under contract and you pay premiums, the other driver’s insurance company represents the interests of their insured. In fact, even where the other driver has admitted fault for the accident, the insurance company wants to make sure it pays the least amount possible toward your claim to protect its own bottom line.
Accordingly, the other insurance company will attempt to pay out the claim as quickly as possible. While this may sound appealing, the settlement will require that you waive any claims. You may not know that some claims exist when you settle. For example, if you later discover nerve damage as a result of the accident, you would be barred from bringing a claim if you had previously settled. For these reasons, it is important to consider the following when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.
No Obligation To Talk
You are not legally required to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Nevertheless, if your goal is to settle the claim quickly, talking may help you accomplish this. In situations where the driver is not cooperating with his insurance company or offering an inaccurate version of the facts, speaking with the driver’s insurance company may help the claim process move forward more quickly. However, you must be careful about what you say. And always remember that a sworn statement provided to the insurance company prior to speaking with your attorney may be used against you in any legal case.
Stick To Basic Facts
If you decide to speak to the other driver’s insurance company, stick to basic facts concerning the accident. This includes where and when the accident occurred. Never start any sentence with “I think.” It’s perfectly acceptable to not know all the details. Moreover, it is always better to say that you do not remember facts rather than speculate. Answers should be brief and to the point. Resist the urge to expand on basic facts, even if you are pretty sure they are accurate.
Do Not Discuss Injuries
Further, it is important to never give an opinion about your health to the other driver’s insurance company. Never offer an opinion about whether or not you sustained any injuries because certain injuries take a while to reveal themselves. Advise the other driver’s insurance company that you are under the care of a physician and that your health is your top priority.
Do Not Discuss The Cause Of The Accident
If you discuss the cause of the accident with the other driver’s insurance company, be sure that you relay only basic facts. Do not indulge the other driver’s insurance company with opinions about what caused the accident or who you believe is at fault. The other driver’s insurance company will use these statements to establish that their driver was not at fault and that your own negligence contributed to the accident.
Wittmer & Linehan PLLC has experience dealing with insurance companies. We understand that insurance companies make it as difficult as possible for individuals to get proper reimbursement and compensation for their injuries. Even when insurance companies make offers, it is rarely enough to cover all the expenses and losses. Our attorneys routinely deal with insurance companies and can help you better understand your rights. Call us at 941-263-8314 to discuss your case today.