Am I Legally Required to Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After an Accident?
After being involved in an accident, you might feel confused and unsure of what to do next, especially if you sustain injuries and incur property damage. It may become more overwhelming if you get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company asking you to give a recorded statement concerning the accident.
If you’re unsure what to do, it would be best to consult skilled lawyers from a personal injury law firm in Kansas City. Legally speaking, you are not obligated to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance. If you do, let it be in the presence of your lawyers to avoid saying anything that could potentially ruin your case.
Why Shouldn’t I Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
One of the factors that insurance adjusters consider when evaluating a claim is the claimant’s recorded statement. They aim to pay the least amount possible or none at all. If you give a documented report, they will look for loopholes to blame you for the accident to avoid paying your claim.
They may try to interpret what you say to argue that your injuries and damages are less severe than they actually are to shortchange you by attaching a lesser value to your claim. So, be careful about what you say to the insurance company and the other driver at the accident scene or later.
When Should I Not Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Besides, car accident lawyers in Kansas City may advise you not to talk to insurance adjusters under the following circumstances:
- You sustained severe injuries, such as broken bones, and you had an overnight stay in the hospital
- The insurance company is persistently or forcefully pursuing you to give a statement
- More than one person was injured in the accident
- You need medical treatment that costs more than $2,000
- The injuries caused you to miss a day or more of everyday activities such as work or school
- There’s a dispute over who is to blame for the accident
How Can I Decline Talking to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
Since it’s not a legal requirement to talk to the other driver’s insurance company, you can politely but firmly decline the request by saying any of the following, if it applies:
- You’re not willing to accept a settlement offer from the company at this time
- You’re not going to discuss the accident specifics or liability without your lawyer
- You’re still receiving treatment for the injuries you sustained in the accident
- Your insurance company and car accident lawyers in Kansas City are helping you figure out the most favorable option
If the insurance claims adjuster keeps calling you, remain calm and repeat these talking points. You could also ask them to contact your personal injury attorneys in Kansas City or insurance company instead if they need more information about the accident. The calls will likely stop.
When Can I Possibly Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
The other driver’s insurance company may accept that its driver was at fault. In that case, the company may be willing to shoulder the financial responsibility, and you might make a claim directly with the insurer. That requires that you provide the company with all the documents related to your claimed losses and medical expenses.
Information that you can provide to the insurance company includes your:
- Phone number
Before talking to an insurance representative or agreeing to answer their questions, ask them their name, title, and the name of the company they represent. Be sure to note this down. Remember that you don’t have to talk to them if you don’t feel comfortable. You could also ask them not to contact you but instead you will contact them when you are ready.
Tips to Remember When Talking to Insurance Adjusters
Even if liability is not disputed, the adjuster still has the insurance company’s interest in the forefront, not yours. Therefore, be cautious, expecting some pushbacks on critical areas that could make the adjuster lower the value of your claim as much as possible. Be careful with what you say, and:
- Avoid apologizing for your role in the accident, as this could be the basis for reducing the value of your claim.
- Don’t discuss how you’re feeling or the extent of your injuries, as what you think are minor injuries could turn out more severe than you think.
- Only answer the questions asked without volunteering additional information.
- Don’t agree to have your statement recorded over the phone or in writing, as that may lock you into unfavorable versions of events, which could affect your claim in the long run.
- Don’t guess or speculate when giving answers; instead, say you don’t know if you don’t have answers to some questions.
- Refer the adjuster to your insurance company or attorney if they need you to provide more than just the essential details about the accident.
A Skilled Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Deal with Insurance Adjusters
Insurance claim adjusters have the interest of the insurance companies they represent in mind. They work hard to find loopholes to justify why an accident victim should not receive the total amount their claim is worth. Talking to adjusters without representation from experienced car accident attorneys in Kansas City could ruin your case.
If the other driver’s insurance company wants a recorded statement from you, consult knowledgeable personal injury lawyers from the Mohlman Gurney Injury Law firm before proceeding. We can evaluate your case and provide legal counsel on your options. We can speak to the adjuster on your behalf to protect your rights. Call us at 816-648-6000 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.