After a Car Wreck, Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company Until You...
Do I have to speak to the driver’s insurance company after an auto accident in Texas?
If you’ve been in Houston car accident, speaking to the other driver’s insurance adjusters is usually not a good idea; at the very least, be careful.
You may receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company after a car crash, regardless of how obvious it may be that the other driver is responsible for the crash. Even in cases where you are at fault, the other driver’s insurance adjusters may still contact you. Either way, when it comes to communicating with the insurance company of the at-fault driver, you must be careful when providing the details. Read on to learn more.
The driver’s insurance company is only looking out after their customer’s needs and interests (i.e., their “insured”), and they don’t care about you. Never give an insurance company a recorded statement without first consulting with Northwest Houston, Texas personal injury attorney, Troy M Moore. Consultations are always free of charge for personal injury lawsuits. For your private appointment with our experienced Houston car accident attorney, pick up your phone and dial 281-970-1664 today. Our office is conveniently located in the Cypress, TX / Tomball, TX area.
You Are Not Required to Speak With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Let’s respond quickly to the question that the title of this article raised: No, you are not legally obligated to speak to the representative of the other insurance company. However, speaking to your own insurance company after a car accident in Houston is another story. With your own insurance, you have a duty to cooperate with their investigation — so, moral of the story is that 1) when it’s your own insurance company, go ahead and give a recorded statement. JUST DON’T DO IT FOR THE BAD GUYS!
Now the question is whether you should talk to the insurance adjuster of the other driver. The answer is less straightforward and depends on your accident claim. Broadly speaking, when there is the possibility for anyone involved in the accident (you, the other driver, or a passenger) reporting for serious injuries, you should not talk to the other insurance company. Additionally, if you have a Northwest Houston car accident attorney or your insurance adjuster who can act on your behalf, you might as well not talk to the other driver’s insurer. That being said, it may make sense to speak to the other insurance company in some cases.
When Is the Favorable Time to Speak with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
In the rare case where the other driver was clearly at fault, it may be best to talk to the other insurance company. In that case, the other driver’s insurance company may probably have no idea who was at fault and may not know the extent of your car accident injuries and property damage. In those instances, if you don’t talk to the car insurance company of the other driver, it will be a lot longer before you get car accident settlements from the other insurance company. BUT DON’T DO IT ALONE!
You should 100% have your personal injury attorney on the speakerphone with you are his/her office, and speak to the other driver’s insurer. This is not always possible, mainly if it was a minor accident in Houston.
Tips When Speaking to the Other Driver’s Car Insurance Company
First, always keep in mind that the primary goal of the car insurance company of the other driver is to spend as little money as possible for the serious personal injury and lost wages. The insurance company does not take your best interests in mind. It wants to find proof that you were responsible for the vehicle accident and that your injury or damage is minor (or non-existent). So, it’s best that you shouldn’t tell the insurance adjuster that you’re feeling fine or your injuries are only minor. Even if you think this is the case, some common car accident injuries do not appear right away, and minor injuries can also turn out to be more severe than expected.
Secondly, anything you say to the car insurance company of the other driver can serve as a justification to refuse to pay you anything or to reduce the value of your insurance claim.
Third, only answer the question that has been asked. Do not willingly offer additional information or allow to have recorded statements whether over the phone or in writing. A documented or recorded statement is meant to lock you in a specific version of stories, including the severity of your property damage and personal injury. Nonetheless, just days after an auto accident, what you think or feel can easily change.
Fourth, don’t think about what happened or talk about it. If you don’t know what happened, it’s alright to tell the insurance company about it.
Never give the other driver’s insurance company any reason to question who was to blame, or the extent of injury or damage. If there is even a small chance that you might have a serious injury or damage, or the issue of who caused the accident is in dispute, it’s probably smart not to talk to the insurance company of the other driver without legal representation.
6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Talking to an Insurance Company About a Car or Truck Accident
If you are involved in a driving accident in Texas with a commercial truck driver, you’re probably worried about paying for your medical bills and medical expenses, repairing or replacement of your vehicle, as well as covering lost wages and other losses.
You may start receiving calls from representatives of insurance companies shortly after a car crash, and you may feel pressured to make an injury claim or accept an accident settlement offer to resolve the situation. Well, this is always a mistake. In the period of time just after an accident, and even a few days afterward, a lot of times you have no idea as to the extent of your injuries.
You should remember the following when speaking to an insurance adjuster:
- Stay calm. Even if you feel outraged after an accident, remember not to take it out on the insurance representative. You can have a civil conversation by staying calm and being polite, which could earn you some goodwill with the person you’re talking to.
- Remember to get their information. You’ll want to know exactly who you’re talking to and what company they’re representing. This information is going to be valuable, so get their complete name, phone number, position, and the name of the company. Be sure to write down their name, address, phone number, fax number, email, and claim number.
- Limit any personal information you provide. When reporting a car wreck to your insurer, only provide your name, address, and telephone number as far as personal data is concerned. Beyond that, no other details about your life and finances need not be known to the representative.
- Do not talk about your injuries. The insurance adjuster will probably ask you about the injuries you have suffered, but talking about them on this call is not a good idea. If you leave out key details or later discover additional health issues, your accident claim may subsequently be harmed by not including them in your statements to the company.
- Avoid giving a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster of the other party may ask you to make an official statement on the record, or they might request to record your phone call. Don’t give the other driver’s insurance agency any recorded statements without first talking to a Cypress / Tomball / Northwest Houston car accident lawyer. Filing a statement may turn out to be a permanent record of your story’s errors or omissions that could later return to haunt you. Instead, politely decline to make a statement and let an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer handle the case for you. Come by our home office in the Cypress/Tomball area to see us.
- Make sure that you know what you shouldn’t say. Use the suggestions in the following section to avoid saying anything on your part that could be perceived as an admission of fault.
What You Shouldn’t Say to an Insurance Adjuster
Knowing what to say to an insurance adjuster beforehand is perhaps as important as knowing what NOT to say. When talking to any representative of an insurance company, remember the following tips:
- After the car accident, do not make any statements. Let the dust settle, and be sure you’re not disoriented or confused. Remember to let things settle down before you talk to anyone about the crash.
- Don’t make an apology or admit a mistake. Don’t apologize out of politeness to the other party and don’t take responsibility for the auto accident. Once you know all the facts and all the factors that contribute to the incident, it’s too difficult to assign blame objectively.
- Don’t admit that you’re not hurt. Even if after the motor vehicle accident, you don’t experience immediately apparent injuries, you don’t know if other health issues are later to be diagnosed. In the following days or weeks after a collision, the symptoms of some serious injuries such as internal injuries, brain injury, whiplash, and neck and back injuries are often detected.
- Don’t settle any documents or sign them. Do not encourage insurance adjusters to force you to settle quickly or to sign a release from liability. Settling your accident injury claim before you know the full extent of your injuries is a mistake.
Contact Our Experienced Northwest Houston Car Accident Lawyer for Help Now
It is best to get support from an experienced car accident lawyer before speaking to any insurance companies after a car accident. Your attorney will work on your behalf with the insurance companies to ensure that your interests and needs are fairly and professionally represented.
If you’re seriously injured in an auto accident in Houston, Texas, reach out to the Law Office of Troy M. Moore, PLLC, and schedule a free case review by calling us at (281) 970-8039. You can also chat with our legal team or fill out our contact form online.
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