The period immediately following an accident often sets the tone for the insurance claim process. Though the claims adjuster representing the other party’s insurance company may seem friendly, their primary concern is saving their company money while protecting the individual they insure. During the claims process the adjuster can use your statements, actions, and behavior against you making it difficult to receive compensation. Being aware of what not to say after an accident may reduce your chances of doing something that compromises your case.
Avoid Apologizing for the Accident
Immediately following a vehicle accident it is not unusual for drivers to apologize to the owner of the other vehicle. Even if the other driver is at fault, it is considered common courtesy apologize especially when speaking to someone who is physically injured. Unfortunately, telling the other driver or the individuals occupying their vehicle that you are sorry may be construed as an admission of fault. While you will need to talk to the other party in order to exchange insurance information and other details, do not apologize for the accident even if you secretly believe that you were partly responsible.
Never Make Guesses or Say “I Think”
When talking to the police in order to provide a statement or discussing an accident with your own insurance company do not give estimates or guess. It is acceptable to explain that you simply do not know regarding the speed you were traveling, road conditions, or the other driver’s actions. Uncertainty is more acceptable than making guesses that later turn out to be incorrect. Always tell the truth to the best of your ability and be honest when you are unsure or cannot remember details.
Do Not Make Statements Regarding your Health
Once an accident claim is filed either by you or the other party their insurance company will start attempting to contact you. Most insurance companies prefer settling claims as quickly as possible to potential reduce the reimbursement amount for medical treatment. Claims adjusters usually ask how you are feeling or how you are doing and it is important that you avoid telling the adjuster that you are “okay” or “fine”. Though both are typically polite answers to inquiries regarding health an insurance company can argue that your statement shows your injuries were not extensive or that your health was fine at the time of the conversation.
Protect Yourself by Consulting an Attorney
Even the most straightforward accident scenario can become complicated after a claim is filed. In order to protect yourself it is best to consult an attorney who has a history of successfully handling personal injury cases. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process by helping you avoid making potentially harmful statements. With over 40 years of experience, the attorneys at LeBell, Dobroski, Morgan & Meylink can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured, call our offices. For over 40 years, we have helped people across Wisconsin get the compensation they deserve. With personalized attention and unparalleled experience, let us help you in your time of need.