Responsible drivers know to exchange insurance information after getting into an accident. When we call to make our insurance claim, a little voice inside of us may say, “Tell them everything!” But stop right there; don’t tell them everything.
If you’re ready to file your car accident claim, remember that loose lips sink ships. This is what you should never say to your insurance company after an accident.
Don’t Be Too Quick to Call the Insurance Company
The only people you should call directly after a car accident are emergency responders or 9-1-1. The police and EMTs will know how to handle high-stress emotions, can help ensure you’re okay, and can generate official reports. They are trained to understand that you’ve just been through an event that can cause major anxiety, and they can work through these situations with you.
Your insurance company, on the other hand, will only take advantage of these emotions. It’s okay to take a day or two to settle down from the accident, call a lawyer, collect your thoughts, and proceed with filing a claim. Before you call, know what not to say during an insurance claim.
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“I Am At Fault.”
Do not admit fault, even if you are at fault. If you think you were responsible, even in part, for the accident, don’t let your insurance company know what you think. Additionally, don’t over apologize to the other driver or reveal incriminating evidence, including:
- I was on my phone.
- I was distracted.
- I ran that red light.
- I can’t believe I did that…
The list goes on. There are dozens of ways you can incriminate yourself without saying, “It was my fault.” Your insurance company doesn’t need this information; just give them a brief overview without inserting your opinions on who did what into the story.
Only the police and a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents should know the finer details of the accident.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t try to come up with an answer. Your answer should be, “I don’t know.” Your insurance company may ask you things you aren’t too clear on. For example:
- How did the accident happen?
- Did the weather contribute to the accident?
- Were there witnesses?
Don’t give an opinion or best guess – the insurance company will use your statement, even if it was an uncertain one, to calculate how much they will payout for your claim – if they give you a payout at all.
If you “think” the other driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, speak with a DWI accident lawyer before calling your insurance company. Remember, an “I think” statement could do more harm than good.
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“Yes, I’ll Go on Record.”
Never agree to give a recorded or official statement without speaking to a lawyer first. The insurance company may frame this as simple protocol, but they will use anything you say against your claim.
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“I’m Not Injured.”
Never tell your insurance company that you aren’t injured. Don’t downplay injuries, either. Even if you don’t think you are hurt, one of the most important pieces of advice we give is to make sure you receive medical attention. Whiplash symptoms can take a day or two to set in and having a record of visiting the hospital after an accident can help connect the accident and injury.
A lawyer can tell you exactly how to frame the injury to the insurance company. They will help you discuss your injury in a specific manner, with details on the location of the injury and its severity.
Beware: if your insurance company asks for access to your medical records and you grant them that access, they could look for ways to blame a pre-existing condition or previous injury for your current injury.
“Here’s Their Name and Number…”
If you know witnesses to the accident or had passengers in the car with you, do not disclose their names or contact information to the insurance company.
Should your claim go to court, you may be asked to reveal sensitive or incriminating information you told these people.
Don’t Say “I Accept” When They Give You an Offer
Don’t say, “I accept.” Insurance companies want to settle a claim as quickly as possible. They know that those involved in car accidents are financially and emotionally vulnerable.
Because of their experience and protocols, insurance companies will offer a claim amount well below what they are able and prepared to pay. Call a lawyer before accepting any offer.
Talk to Loncar Lyon Jenkins Before Calling Your Insurance Company
Loncar Lyon Jenkins is ready to help guide you through your car accident claim, even before speaking to your insurance company. Contact us today for your free consultation.