Were you involved in a car crash or some other type of serious accident? While it may be tempting to share the details of the accident with other people, it’s important to keep in mind that in order to protect your rights, there are certain people you should talk to and certain people you shouldn’t talk to.
You should definitely speak with a personal injury lawyer and your doctor after being in a car crash. On the other hand, you should avoid discussing details of the accident with your friends and colleagues, as well as refrain from posting anything on your social media accounts. But what about the insurance company? Can you answer their calls? The answer is – it depends.
Of course, you will need to report the motor vehicle accident to your own insurance company as soon as you can. Be as honest with them as possible. Ask your insurance company representative to arrange a meeting with your attorney to discuss the accident.
If you’re involved in a car crash, it is also very possible for the insurance company representatives of the other involved parties to call you or visit you while you’re in the hospital or recovering at home. They may hound you with questions or ask you to provide your medical records or a recorded statement. They may even ask questions that imply that the accident was your fault.
Do not speak with them and do not sign any documents, even if they tell you that you are required to. Do not admit fault, and do not accept any settlements from the insurance company without first consulting your attorney. The reality is that although these companies appear to have your best interests in mind, never forget that they are not on your side, they are a for-profit business and hence will always look after their best interests which includes minimizing your compensation. With the right legal representation on your side, the chances are higher that you will be offered considerably more than if you were to go at it alone.
By communicating directly with the insurance company, you may be doing irreparable harm to your own personal injury claim without meaning to. Insurance company representatives are trained on how to gather information needed to reduce the value of your claim or even deny the claim entirely. Your own words may be used against you in the litigation process later on.
Legally speaking, you are not obliged to cooperate or even discuss the accident with the insurance company of the other party. Still, they are likely to continue contacting you until they obtain the information they want. After getting their contact details, calmly and politely tell these insurance representatives to contact your personal injury attorney directly and hang up the phone.
Ultimately, whether or not to speak to the insurance adjuster of an insurance company is a decision only you can make. If in doubt, however, it would be most advantageous to consult with your attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you do not unintentionally hurt your own claim.
If you have been injured call The Fitch Law Firm at 855-LAW-OHIO or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation and put our 30+ years of personal injury law experience to work for you.