SHOULD I SPEAK WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES?
The bottom line answer is NO. You are not required to talk with the other party’s insurance company when you’ve been involved in an accident.
You should never give a recorded statement to the other side without consulting with an attorney first. If you are contacted, be polite, but decline to speak to the insurance representative. Insurance adjusters use many strategies to lessen the value of injury claims, such as delay tactics, requesting pointless information, disputing medical treatment, paying only portions of medical bills, and even acting like a friend to gain a recorded statement that could reduce your injury claim.
WHAT IS A RECORDED STATEMENT?
Insurance adjusters are trained to contact the potentially injured victims of accidents involving their insured clients. The purpose of that communication is to take a recorded statement of your account of the incident and your injuries. Oftentimes, claimants believe they must give this statement to the adjuster in order to be compensated for their injuries. Unfortunately, victims oftentimes unwittingly make comments that later hurt their case.
Insurance companies’ claims adjusters are professional negotiators, with extensive experience in using techniques to persuade you to disclose information that may compromise your claim. This includes discouraging you from retaining legal counsel. Claims adjusters are hired because they sound persuasive over the phone, but victims are rarely compensated fairly without legal representation. If contacted by an insurance company other than your own, simply respond by saying something polite like, “Thank you for calling but I am not prepared to discuss this matter with you at this time.”
IF THE OTHER PERSON’S INSURANCE COMPANY CONTACTS YOU, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
When talking with an insurance adjuster, make sure to never:
- Admit to being uninjured
- Admit to any fault for the accident
- Disclose specific details of your injuries
- Make any statements downplaying the seriousness of your injuries
If you admit that you are not injured, or downplay the severity of the injuries by saying, “I feel pretty good,” or something of the like, the insurance company can use this against you. Remember, the call is probably being recorded. Furthermore, you should never admit any fault for the accident. Even if you think you were partially responsible, it is not your place to make a legal determination of guilt or innocence. That is the court’s duty. Instead, stick to the basic, general nature of the accident and an overview of your injuries.
SHOULD I CONTACT MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
It is also a good idea to contact your own insurance company to notify them of your involvement in an accident. You may have benefits under your auto policy, including medical payments coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, which are applicable to your claim. It is important to notify your insurance company of the potential claim, because nearly every policy contains a “notice requirement” in which your claim may be denied if the insurer is not notified promptly of the claim.
THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media posts can be used against you in court. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms can be a great way to update friends and family after an accident, it can also be dangerous. Insurance companies will do their research and will look at your social media posts to get any information they can use to avoid paying you compensation.
For example, if you post on social media after an accident that your injuries are not very serious, but then pursue compensation for injuries that appear a few hours or days after the accident, the insurance company will use your statement on social media to disprove your claim. Furthermore, if your friend or family member posts something about you that seems to contradict your injuries, the insurance company will use it in court against you. For example, if your friend posts a picture of you smiling at a theme park, the insurance company can use this to fight your claim for pain and suffering, even if the picture was taken before the accident.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid social media entirely until your personal injury case is settled. That way, insurance companies will not be able to use this information against you. If you cannot stay off of social media, at the very least, make sure your privacy settings are at the highest level. It is also a good idea to tell your friends and family to avoid posting anything about the accident or your injuries until after the case is closed.
PASSIONATE REPRESENTATION FOR INJURED VICTIMS IN GEORGIA
At Jones & Swanson, we pride ourselves on finding effective legal strategies to meet our clients’ legal needs. If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, we can provide diligent representation for your case. Our personal injury attorneys have experience dealing with large insurance companies. We tirelessly uphold your right to compensation in for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We promise to work diligently to maximize your recovery by settlement or trial.
Contact us today to discuss your case with our experienced legal advocate. We offer free case evaluations for your convenience.
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