Your insurance company will most likely be involved when you suffer an auto accident. Accident victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses from the at-fault driver. They can either file an insurance claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in court after a car accident. Regardless, it is advisable to speak with an Atlanta car crash lawyer to discuss your legal options for the best outcome.
The last thing most victims want to do is to talk about the traumatic event with the insurance adjuster. However, your insurance policy obligates you to notify and cooperate with your insurer after a car accident. Failure to do so can result in the denial of your claim or cancellation of your coverage. In addition, it can lead to an increase in your policy premiums.
As a general rule of thumb, you should exercise caution with insurance adjusters. Speaking to them without legal representation can be detrimental to your chances of financial recovery. Know that you will be dealing with trained personnel who can devise any means to deny or limit your claim.
Dealing with your injuries and the insurance claims process can be confusing and overwhelming. As a result, you can unwittingly say something that can be construed as admitting fault after a car accident. This is why an experienced lawyer should handle all communications and negotiations on your behalf. This article helps you to understand your rights and what you should not say to your insurer.
What Happens After a Car Accident in Atlanta?
The first thing to do after a car accident is to seek immediate medical help and report the collision to your insurance provider. Each auto insurance company has slightly different standards they employ in paying out insurance claims.
But generally, they will investigate the crash to determine who was at fault and how severe the damages were. Then, once liability is established, the insurance companies will negotiate reimbursement for the incurred expenses.
An Atlanta Car Crash Lawyer Explains What Not to Say to Your Insurance Company After a Car Accident
Accident victims should be strategic when handling insurance companies after a car accident. Avoid saying these to them:
Don’t Say Anything Immediately After the Crash
Again, you should inform your insurance company that you were involved in a collision. However, the moment after a car accident can leave you in shock and confusion. In addition to that, you will be under a great deal of pain and stress from the injuries.
Remember that you and the insurance company have different objectives. They aim to close the case quickly while giving you less than you deserve. In contrast, you want to receive the maximum compensation possible. So take care of your medical needs first and get legal representation.
“It Was My Fault”
Avoid admitting fault for the crash before investigations are carried out and concluded. The local police are responsible for determining fault after a car accident. There might be other factors, even if you were partially at fault. In addition, you can still recover a percentage of your damages as Georgia is a comparative negligence state.
Insurance adjusters also investigate crashes, so don’t lie to them if they ask you questions. However, don’t offer additional details before you have all the facts. In addition, don’t apologize in front of the responding police officer or the other driver. When speaking with insurance adjusters, give basic details of the incident without adding personal opinions or discussing blame.
“I Don’t Have Any Injuries”
Accident victims should seek immediate medical treatment after a car accident. In addition to proving that your injuries occurred, it can help determine the extent of your wounds. You may suffer whiplash, internal bleeding, concussion, etc., without knowing, as some injuries take time to manifest. So don’t make declarations that you don’t know are absolutely true.
Insurance companies are skilled in asking the right questions after a car accident. For example, they may express concern and ask you how you’re feeling. If you respond with “I am fine” or “I feel ok,” they can use this to claim you weren’t hurt. On this basis, they can deny or pay you less than you deserve. In addition, don’t sign any medical release form from your insurer without speaking with your lawyer.
“This Is My Official Statement”
Insurance providers can ask you to give a recorded statement of the crash. This trick gets you to share more information than you should. However, you are not obligated to provide one. You can politely decline till you are legally represented. Remember that insurance adjusters can take your words out of context to serve their objective.
Never speculate about the crash when speaking with the insurance company. It’s best to say you don’t know or are not sure about a particular detail. Guessing or making an estimate on questions about the speed you were driving, distance, etc., can adversely affect your claim.
“I Accept the Offer”
Injury victims always make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer after a car accident. Insurance companies will make an initial lowball settlement offer that is insufficient to cover your damages. Then, they try to manipulate you, hoping your medical bills and lost wages will propel you to accept.
Do not accept an offer without first consulting your lawyer. Once you do, you cannot demand more, even if you discover new injuries or disabilities that stem from the accident. Let your Atlanta car crash lawyer handle all negotiations toward a fair settlement.
Names of Others
Avoid giving your insurance company the names of people involved in your life. This includes your family members, friends, or doctors. However, if your case goes to court, you may be asked to provide their contact information or reveal details of what you told them about the crash.
What Information Should I Give To My Insurer?
Again, only provide bits of information about the accident. This includes:
- The details of all the parties involved in the crash
- The date and approximate time the accident occurred
- The address, approximate mile marker, or intersection where the crash occurred
- The areas of the vehicles that sustained damage
- The make, model, and color of the cars involved
- The license plate number and vehicle identification numbers, if available to you.
Let the Best Atlanta Car Crash Lawyer Handle Your Insurance Claim
Insurance companies are profit-oriented businesses that do not want to lose money. As a result, they cannot be trusted after a car accident. So you should not speak to them without first consulting a lawyer.
When you retain the services of an experienced lawyer, the insurance company will treat your claim with respect and attention. In addition, a lawyer will advise you on what not to say to jeopardize your chances of securing maximum compensation after a car accident.
At The Weinstein Firm, we will handle the insurance claims process while you focus on your health. In addition, we will fight to get the compensation you deserve. So contact us and let the best personal injury lawyers in Atlanta fight to win your case with no out-of-pocket costs.