Talking to Your Insurance Company After an Accident Washington D.C. Lawyer
In the hours and days after an accident, you may be filled with anxiety, nerves, and physical pain. At the same time, you will likely start receiving calls from your (or the other party’s) insurance company, wanting to understand what happened, your injuries, and quickly offering settlement money. Let the dust settle.
In this post, we’ll be covering how calls should go – the information you should get, and what you should and should not say.
The first thing to do is to write down the contact information of the person you speak with – name, address, telephone number, email address, and insurance company he or she is with. If you are asked to record the statement, do not comply. When being put on record, a person will often tense up and forget critical information. This can hurt the injured party later on in negotiations. You will be able to give a more accurate and thorough account of the events and subsequent treatments through a written statement.
They will probably start asking you several questions, but you do not need to tell them anything other than your full name, address, or telephone number. It is best to give limited personal information (i.e., work, schedule, income, etc.). Your insurance company wants to close the case as quickly and cheaply as possible – be sure to fully understand that this is their perspective.
However, the adjuster, or another representative, will try to get you to tell them details of the accidents (subtly or explicitly). You should provide them only with very basic information: where, when, and who was involved, if you would like to give any information whatsoever. Do not admit fault, discuss any injuries, do not say “this is my official statement,” or say “I think.” Politely inform them that you will not provide any further information until the investigation has concluded, and that you prefer to provide a written statement.
Further, they will want to understand the nature and extent of your injuries. Again, it is in your best interest to not provide this information. Simply inform the adjuster that you are “still treating.”
While this may seem to be deliberately elusive, it is not. Until you have had a full opportunity to investigate the accident, understand your injuries, the required treatment, and other losses, you will (1) not be able to provide accurate information and (2) lower the likelihood of receiving the compensation you legally deserve.
You are entitled to damages, including property damage, lost wages, medical treatment, loss of future earnings, consortium, pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the attorneys at Cohen & Cohen can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (202) 955-4529for a free, zero-obligation case evaluation.