Getting in a car accident is a shocking experience and is often quite devastating. A lot of things go through your mind following the accident. And you’re likely to worry about your injuries, your damaged car, the time you’ll have to take off from work, and so much more. It happens quickly, and the rush of thoughts and anxiety can be overwhelming.
Shortly after your car accident, you’re likely to hear from the insurance company of the other driver. Depending on the severity of the accident and your injuries, this can be a frustrating conversation to have before you feel like you’ve had the chance to start your recovery. But, it’s in your best interest to work with an attorney and let them talk to the insurance company for you. Here’s why:
Why You Shouldn’t Talk to An Insurance Company After an Auto Accident
The insurance company of the other driver is likely to contact you quickly after the accident. They will often pressure you to talk to them and give details about the accident and the extent of your injuries. They are also notorious for pressuring people into making a recorded statement and taking money as a settlement. But don’t fall for it. You don’t have to tell them anything. Your attorney can handle this for you and give you the best advice for your specific situation.
You might be wondering why it’s so important to avoid speaking with an insurance company without talking to an attorney first:
- You are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company – But, if you get on the phone with them, you’ll quickly find out that they would like you to believe otherwise.
- You can put your case at risk – If you get on the phone with the other driver’s insurance company, they will likely pressure you to make a statement, submit your medical records, or give unnecessary details about the accident, which can all be used against you and negatively affect your claim.
- Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators – They are very practiced at the art of getting you to say something that harms your case. Their goal is not to gather information but to lower the amount of money they must pay for a claim. They can do this through manipulation, fear tactics, attempting to force you into quick decisions, and even offering you money.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
First and foremost, when you’re in an accident, make sure you take all the necessary steps at the scene to build your case. This includes taking pictures and filing a police report when possible. But you’ll also need to make sure to do the following:
- Take care of your health – Your health is number one. At the scene of the accident and after, you need to make sure to keep your health at the forefront of your mind. This means taking care of yourself and seeing a doctor. Even if you aren’t feeling any symptoms, you should make an appointment. Many injuries don’t show up until days or sometimes weeks and months later. A doctor is the only person who can help you determine what your potential injuries are.
- Don’t speculate about the accident– It might be tempting at the scene of the accident, or afterwards on social media, to talk about and work out what happened. But accidents are complicated and involve a lot of factors you might not even be aware of. Leave the investigating to the investigators.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney – It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney after your accident. After you’ve taken care of any urgent injuries and filed a police report, contacting a personal injury attorney will make sure you are working with someone who has your best interest in mind following the accident.
- Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company – We’ve discussed why this is crucial, but we want to emphasize it again. You might be surprised by a phone call from them. Perhaps an unknown local number calls you, you answer, and it’s the other driver’s insurance company. You don’t have to talk to them. Politely tell them your attorney is working on the case. There is nothing else you need to say.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
There’s so much to think about after an accident. And if you’ve been injured, then you might be dealing with time off work, lost wages, and emotional trauma, not to mention all the repairs to your car or perhaps total replacement.
Dealing with insurance companies is always an additional burden, and it’s easy to fall into a trap of saying the wrong thing that can hurt your case. It might be tempting to just take a settlement and move on, but only an attorney can help you navigate exactly what your rights are under the law and what you may be entitled to. Here are some of the ways a personal injury attorney can help you after you’ve been in an accident:
- Communicate with insurance companies, health care providers, lien holders, and defense attorneys
- Handle all the negotiations on your behalf
- Build a strong case for you by documenting the accident, damages, and cost of medical care; organizing your medical records and bills; identifying liability; collecting official records; and collecting evidence to prove negligence and liability
If you’ve been injured in an accident, reach out to us so we can help. We aren’t intimated by insurance companies, and we aren’t afraid to litigate if necessary. We will fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.