After an accident, you shouldn’t admit that you caused it even if you think that’s true. An admission of fault, no matter how well-intentioned, could jeopardize your right to damages. You also shouldn’t give a recorded statement. You don’t have to give one, and anything you share on the record could complicate matters even further.
You only have to supply the insurance company with basic information after a collision. Anything else without consulting a car accident lawyer can hurt your right to compensation.
Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Insurance Company After a Collision
After a crash, you shouldn’t tell the insurance company:
You Caused the Incident
This should go without saying. Still, even if you live in a no-fault state, admitting fault for the crash benefits no one. Instead, it could give the insurer reason to deny your claim, lowball your losses, and otherwise contest your case. You may think that admitting fault for the crash paints you in a good light. You’re being honest, after all. But remember: insurance companies want to make a profit, and they look for any reason to deny claims.
You Used Mind-Altering Substances Before the Collision
Even if you had a beer two hours before the crash, you shouldn’t share that with the claims adjuster. Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, and even if you weren’t legally drunk when the crash happened, even suggesting intoxication could give the insurer grounds to dismiss your claim.
Your Injuries Aren’t Serious
You might put on a brave face while talking to the insurance company, downplaying your injuries and suffering. This benefits no one. Instead, it gives the insurer reason to offer less than you need to pay for your medical bills and related care costs. You should be entirely honest with the insurer about your condition; don’t spare any details when discussing your symptoms.
The insurer doesn’t need to hear your life story after a collision. Anything you share beyond basic information could negatively affect your case. You should limit information about your family, job, past injuries or car crashes, and anything that is not strictly relevant to your case.
Your Opinion on Who Caused the Collision
No matter how well-founded, your opinions are subjective. Any statements regarding fault, even those alleging that the other party caused the crash, could hurt your case. If you want to share anything that isn’t backed by evidence, think again.
You shouldn’t give the insurance company the names of any family members, friends, or witnesses. The claims adjuster could contact these individuals and dig for information that contests your case.
You Don’t Have a Lawyer
Insurance companies love dealing with people who don’t have lawyers. That way, they can employ bad-faith insurance practices, offer low settlements, and otherwise impede the claims process. On the other hand, insurers hate dealing with people who have legal representation. Here, they know they can’t play games. Otherwise, they could face certain penalties, such as breach of contract.
You’ll Accept the Offer
This doesn’t apply if the insurance company processes your claim in good faith and offers to pay for the full extent of your losses. Yet, this seldom happens. After learning about your collision, the insurance company may try making you an offer before you understand your case’s true value. The insurer may lowball your losses, hoping to get away with offering as little money as possible.
Accepting this offer (especially without knowing the true cost of your damages) could leave you with out-of-pocket expenses.
Other Things You Shouldn’t Do After a Collision
You should avoid giving the insurance company too much information after a collision. You should also avoid other things in the days, weeks, and months after a crash. Some of these things include:
Posting About Your Crash to Social Media
You don’t want to share anything beyond what’s necessary for a person, over the phone, or on social media. The claims adjuster could access anything you share on the web and use it to contest your case. For instance, you may post a picture of yourself at a soccer match, smiling with friends. The insurer could see this picture and assume you’re not as injured as you claim.
You don’t have to stop using social media during your case’s progression, but you should be mindful of what you share. Insurers look for any reason to deny or lowball claims. The more you share, the more information the insurer has to work with when offering a low settlement.
Neglecting to Seek Medical Care
Visiting a healthcare provider is one of the most important things you can do after a crash. Not only does this better your condition, but it shows the insurer that you’re committed to making a full recovery. Failing to seek medical care or discontinuing treatment could raise some red flags. It could even compel the insurer to dismiss your claim or offer an unfair settlement.
Failing to Notify Law Enforcement
If you were in a crash with injuries, you’re usually required to share the crash’s details with law enforcement. Failing to do so could result in various legal penalties; for instance, the state could charge you with a hit-and-run. Also, not notifying law enforcement discredits your case.
The police report serves as a valuable piece of evidence in your case. It establishes when the crash happened, who was involved, and other pertinent details.
Managing a Legal Case on Your Own
After a collision that injured you, you shouldn’t have to deal with a complicated legal case, too. Instead, you should consider entrusting your claim to a car crash lawyer. They can manage all dealings with the insurance company and pursue compensation for your various losses.
What You Should Do After a Collision?
You should avoid many things after a collision. However, you can take many steps that could bolster your case’s outcome, such as:
Following Through With Treatment
It’s important to follow through with medical care after a collision. This may involve taking certain medications, undergoing surgery, or attending physical therapy. You want to better your condition and show the insurer that you’re committed to making a full recovery. Also, testimony from your doctor can bolster your claim.
Taking Photos and Videos of the Crash Scene
If possible, take photos of your car’s damage, the collision scene, and your injuries. You want as much information to support your case as possible. It’s okay if you left the crash scene without documenting it; if you partner with a lawyer, they can find other evidence to supplement your case.
Notifying the Insurance Company
Immediately after the crash, you may not know what to do when filing a claim. Still, you should notify the insurance company anyway. Doing so creates a record of your collision, injuries, and damages. Also, it prevents any deadlines from expiring. Failing to notify the insurer in a timely manner could jeopardize your case.
Considering Legal Help
You have legal options after a collision, and one of those options involves working with a car crash lawyer. An attorney can manage your case’s many obligations, from investigating the crash to calculating your damages. While you may have financial concerns about affording a lawyer, many works is based on contingency, meaning they charge nothing upfront or out of pocket for their help. This means you can partner with a lawyer without digging into your savings to pay their attorney’s fees.
What to Know About Insurance Companies?
As noted, insurance companies aim to make money. They exist to make money selling policies not paying for injured people’s damages. This means some insurers go above and beyond to deny people what they’re owed. Even insurers that have represented claimants for decades think twice about paying in full for their losses.
Here’s what to know about insurance companies and auto collision claims:
Some Insurers Employ Bad-Faith Insurance Practices
When a policyholder signs a contract with an insurer, that’s a binding agreement. The policyholder agrees to pay their monthly premiums, and the insurer agrees to offer coverage if a collision happens. Yet, not all insurers act in good faith, meaning they do everything possible to avoid paying for someone’s losses.
Examples of bad-faith insurance practices include:
- Refusing to acknowledge a claim’s submission
- Neglecting to answer a claimant’s messages and phone calls
- Misrepresenting a liable policy’s details
- Bullying a claimant into accepting less than they need
- Continuously asking for unnecessary information
- Delaying the claims process
- Denying a claim without giving a written reason why
Some insurance companies think twice about employing bad-faith practices when a claimant has a lawyer. Here, they know impeding the claims process could result in legal penalties, such as fines.
Insurance Companies Want Proof of Your Damages
Filing a claim goes beyond filling out a few forms and requesting compensation.
You must have evidence that supports your case, such as:
- Data from crash reconstruction specialists
- The police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Information from third-party field consultants, such as healthcare providers
- Photos of your vehicle’s damage
- Your medical records
- Traffic camera footage (if available)
A lawyer can gather the evidence necessary to support your claim. They can also demonstrate how another party’s negligence caused the collision.
The Insurer May Not Share Your Claim’s Filing Deadline
As noted, the insurance company often hopes to avoid paying for your losses. So, it might not disclose your claim’s filing deadline. That way, it can dismiss your claim and wash its hands of the ordeal. A lawyer can evaluate your situation and advise you on all filing deadlines. They can also file your claim, negotiate a settlement, and guide your case to a fair resolution.
Most Car Crash Claims Get Resolved Through Negotiations
Although insurance companies do everything possible to avoid paying for injured people’s losses, at the end of the day, most cases can resolve through negotiations. Most injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should share unnecessary information with the claims adjuster—no matter how friendly they seem. You should do everything in your power to promote a smooth claims process.
What You Can Expect From Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Partnering with an attorney can make the claims process easier. That’s because they know how to deal with insurance companies and protect their clients from bad-faith practices.
If you partner with a lawyer, you could expect them to:
- Investigate your case and gather evidence
- Calculate your losses, including your anticipated care costs
- Determine the at-fault and liable parties
- Review the applicable insurance policy
- Establish negligence
- Negotiate with the insurance provider
- File your claim
- Manage your lawsuit, if your case makes it to that point
A lawyer acts as your advocate throughout the claims process. While the insurer does everything possible to discredit your case, your lawyer does everything possible to support it.
Many Lawyers Offer Free Case Reviews
You can learn more about your legal options during a free case review with a law firm in your area.
At no obligation, you can get the answers to your most pressing questions, such as:
- What damages can I recover?
- How long does it take to recover damages?
- What can I expect from partnering with a car crash lawyer?
- How much does it cost to retain legal help?
- What can I expect from the claims process with legal help?
You can also learn about your legal options as an injured claimant.
An Unyielding Pursuit of Damages
As a business, an insurance company aims to make money. Your lawyer will fight to secure compensation for your injury-related losses.
Damages in your case may consist of:
- Medical bills, including surgeries, prescriptions, and doctor’s co-pays
- Lost income, tips, commissions, bonuses, and freelance contracts
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Wrongful death-related expenses and losses
- Disability and disfigurement
Your lawyer could seek other losses beyond those listed here. Bottom line: you don’t have to deal with the insurance company on your own. You have legal options, and you could explore your options today.