When you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is important to inform your car insurance company. You may be nervous about making this phone call, but you should let your insurance company know that an accident has occurred, and your car was damaged. After that, however, the best thing you can do is say nothing at all.
You do not need to overly explain or provide too many details, because your car accident attorney will handle most of the communication with insurance companies. However, it can be beneficial to know what to say and not to say when speaking with your insurance company after a car accident.
What to say to your insurance company after a car accident
It is usually a surprise for people to find out that their own insurance company is not on their side. This is because individuals pay money to the insurance company every month, expecting them to protect them if an accident ever occurs. However, when an accident does happen, the insurance company’s first objective is to try to save themselves as much money as possible, which means that they will do everything possible to turn things around and try to get you to admit some sort of fault in the accident.
Therefore, when you initially contact your insurance company to notify them about the accident, it is important to keep this conversation as brief as possible. You will need to provide some details and facts, but it is recommended that you leave the major and in-depth details for your lawyer to explain to your insurance company. Here are some of the things you need to say to your insurance company after a car accident:
- Go over the facts of what happened: It is important to simply let your insurance company know that you were involved in an accident and give them the basic facts about what happened. For example, you can explain where the accident took place, what time of day it was, and who was involved. You can also tell them whether law enforcement was called and if a police report was filed.
- Explain what type of damage was done: Next, you should explain what type of damage occurred during the accident. However, when going over the damage, remember to only go over the basic facts. For example, you may tell them that your windshield is broken, your side door has a lot of dents and scratches, and your airbags deployed. You do not need to go too much into detail because your attorney will handle that for you.
- Ask and learn about your policy, what it entails, and whether it might cover your damage: The insurance agent is there to inform and assist you with your insurance-related matters. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to ask and learn about your policy. You should find out what type of limits you have and try to get a better understanding of what exactly your policy entails. This will help you know whether your policy might cover some of your damage. Before you hang up, it is crucial that you ask for a copy of your policy to provide to your lawyer.
- Ask for the insurance agent’s contact information: Do not forget to ask for the insurance agent’s contact information. You should write this information down and keep it for your and your attorney’s records. By asking for this information, you can verify that you did speak to someone at the insurance company and informed them about the accident.
What NOT to say to your insurance company after a car accident
While it is very important to know what to say to your insurance company after a car accident, it can be equally or even more important to know what not to say during this phone call. The reason for this is because insurance adjusters listen very carefully and try to find ways to twist and turn every little remark you make to benefit themselves.
For example, if you say something as minor as “I should’ve been paying more attention to notice the car at the intersection,” this statement could be used to show that you were distracted and shared fault in the accident. The following are some of the things you should not say when speaking to your insurance company after a car accident:
- Do not admit any fault, errors, or mistakes: It may seem easy to have a conversation with an insurance agent and never admit any fault or mistakes. However, insurance agents are trained to use specific tricks or tactics to get you to say something that suggests that you are admitting some type of fault or error in the accident. This means that you cannot even apologize to the insurance company for the accident, or you could be seen as responsible.
- Do not give information about your medical treatments or recovery process: The insurance agent may ask how you are doing or feeling after the accident. It is crucial to remember that this simple question may be a trick question. Therefore, you should simply state that you are currently trying to recover or are still in pain and leave it at that. If you start giving information about your medical treatments or recovery process, you may open the door for the insurance company to find ways to say that your injuries are not as serious as you said they were.
- Do not agree to make a recorded statement: The insurance agent may ask you if you would like to give a recorded statement. You should refrain from doing this unless you have your lawyer’s permission. If you do not know whether your lawyer would want you to give a recorded statement, you can simply tell the insurance agent that you need to speak to your lawyer first.
- Do not guess on any answers: When the insurance adjuster asks you questions that you are unsure of, you should tell them that you are not sure or do not know and leave the question at that. You should never say “I guess, “Maybe,” or “possibly.”
- Do not talk about the injuries you suffered in the accident: Lastly, do not discuss your injuries with the insurance company. You most likely do not have an accurate understanding of the long-term consequences that could arise from your injuries yet. If you say something like “my broken arm is healing” but find out a week later that you actually need surgery, you just downplayed your injuries to the insurance company. This can cause issues in the compensation amount that you receive because the insurance company may be under the impression that your arm is recovering well, but you actually need surgery, which could take months to recover from.
The Pittsburgh car accident attorneys at Carmody & Ging have 60 years of combined experience, making us a great choice for your car accident claim. We know the ins and outs of the legal process and will do everything we can to secure the fair compensation you need and deserve to rebuild your life again. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation today.