After a traffic accident, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is dealing with your insurance company or the insurance providers of other involved drivers. But after reporting the crash and receiving medical treatment, you’ll have to confront filing an insurance claim.
Understanding what to say—and what not to say—to insurance providers after a wreck is important to ensure that you can pursue full compensation for your injuries and other damages.
As a former insurance adjuster, Little Rock personal injury lawyer Justin Minton understands the tactics insurance companies use to limit or deny injury victims’ claims.
If you were hurt in a crash in the greater Little Rock or Benton areas, the experienced accident attorneys at the Minton Law Firm are here to help. Please call us today at 501-794-0001 or contact us online to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation.
Speaking With Your Insurance Provider After a Crash
Following an accident, all involved drivers will need to report the crash to their respective insurance providers.
Insurance companies are businesses, and it is in their best interest to limit what they payout for accident claims.
While it’s important to be honest with your insurance company, you also don’t want to give information that could negatively impact your ability to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
Before calling your insurance provider, take a deep breath and try to establish a clear picture of the events that led to the crash. Keep the following tips in mind when discussing the collision with your insurance company.
Just the Facts
When talking to your adjuster, stick to the basic facts of the crash:
- The date, time and location of the accident
- The circumstances surrounding the accident
- The name of the responding law enforcement agency
- The names and contact information for other involved drivers
Don’t offer information beyond the established details of the crash.
Avoid Apologies or Admitting Fault
Arkansas is a “no-fault” state, which means your insurance company is required to cover medical payments and other damages regardless of who caused the accident.
However, admitting partial fault or apologizing for your role in an accident may be used by insurance companies to shift liability and limit what they pay for certain damages. Again, when discussing the accident with your insurance company it’s best to adhere to the simple facts surrounding the crash.
Don’t Consent to Recorded Conversations
If your claims adjuster asks for a recorded statement, you have the right to decline.
In some cases, adjusters may ask leading questions that can trap injury victims into making conflicting or inaccurate statements. Even if the conversation isn’t recorded, it’s important not to dive into speculation about the circumstances of the crash.
Don’t Share Detailed Information About Your Injuries
When talking with your insurance provider about your injuries, avoid saying things like, “I’m fine” or “My injuries aren’t that bad.” In general, don’t discuss the status of your injuries or categorize how you feel.
You will need to provide medical documentation of your injuries, but don’t volunteer information beyond the essential facts. Keep in mind that some injuries take time for symptoms to become evident, and other injuries may prove either more or less severe than the initial diagnosis suggests.
Don’t Provide Statements to Other Drivers’ Insurance Companies
It’s possible that the insurance providers of other involved drivers may contact you for a statement following an accident. Like your own insurance company, they may ask you to recount the details of the accident and ask questions about your injuries.
You are not required to give a statement to other drivers’ insurance companies. Doing so could ultimately impact your own claim and your ability to recover full compensation for your damages.
If you do receive a call from other drivers’ insurance providers, simply decline to speak to them, or refer them to your own insurance company or your personal injury attorney.
Consult an Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement
Insurance companies’ initial settlement offers are often inadequate for injury victims’ needs.
You are not obligated to accept your insurance provider’s settlement. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, it’s a good idea to discuss your claim with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
At the Minton Law Firm, our lawyers understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges faced by injury victims. We work hard to negotiate fair settlements for our clients, and we have the trial experience and resources necessary to take your case to court when insurance company settlement offers are unfair.
Call us today at 501-794-0001 to schedule a free initial consultation or contact us online to tell us your story now. We welcome clients from the greater Little Rock and Benton areas, and throughout Arkansas.