Personal Injury Attorney Ron Kramer discusses what to do when insurance companies call you after being in an automobile accident. Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn how to protect yourself from saying the wrong thing that could potentially harm your insurance claim:
Another Insurance Company Calling
If an insurance company other than your own is contacting you, that means that someone has already made a claim, which means it’s probably the person who caused the accident. If the opposing party’s–the at-fault party’s–insurance company is calling, the first thing you want to do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
A personal injury attorney can actually give a statement on your behalf or at least be present while that statement is given. The insurance company will want to record a statement from you, and if you are shooting from the hip while you’re talking and you’re not paying attention to the statements that are being made, you may make a statement that can compromise the value of your claim at a later point in time.
Your Own Insurance Company Calling
Now if it’s your insurance company who’s calling you, it’s probably because you’ve already reached out to them and inform them of an accident. First and foremost, you have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. You are entitled to representation. In fact, your attorney– if you hire a personal injury attorney–can contact your insurance company and give the statement for you.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you don’t wanna make the mistake of saying to an insurance company that you haven’t been injured only to find out days or weeks later that you have:
- soft tissue injuries
- a cervical strain
- or other injuries that did not manifest themselves until several days after the accident.
If you discover that you are injured later on, when within hours after the accident you’ve already told the insurance company that you haven’t been injured or that you’re fine, this could cause big problems with your case.
Maximum Medical Improvement
Remember: you are not competent or qualified to give a medical opinion. You have to get those from a treating physician or medical professional. Don’t make the mistake of giving a statement to an insurance company without knowing all of the facts and without consulting with a medical professional.
An experienced personal injury attorney knows what the insurance companies are looking for to fairly and and accurately compensate you for the injuries that you sustained as a result of their insured negligence. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you present a claim to an insurance company right away, oftentimes you will not have enough information for your claim to be evaluated. An insurance company will not tell you that–oftentimes you get offered a quick settlement, and that’s even before you finished treating. You cannot evaluate your personal injury claim until you finished treating and reach what’s called “maximum medical improvement.” If you have yet to reach maximum medical improvement, then I couldn’t and you couldn’t evaluate the value of your claim. So in order for you to give a statement to an insurance company after you have been in a car accident, oftentimes it’s a statement of facts:
- Here’s how the accident happened.
- I can’t tell you anything more because I am not a doctor.
- I haven’t finished treating.
- I don’t know the extent of my injuries yet.
Don’t let the insurance company settle with you until you know the value of your claim, and don’t think that you know the value of your claim until you speak to a professional personal injury attorney.
If you’d like to learn more about how to protect yourself from sabotaging your auto accident claim, download our free guide: 11 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Auto Accident Case (And How To Avoid Them).
If you know someone who’s been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another–whether that be distracted driving, driving too fast for conditions, or if a big rig tractor-trailer semi hits their vehicle–please have them give us a call or sign up for a free consultation below.