If you were involved in a car accident, there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While looking for evidence to use against your claim, they may come across as friendly, but will ask trick questions. Sometimes they can be pushy. Insurance companies only have one goal in mind – protecting their bottom line.
The car accident attorneys at Karam Law Firm discuss why it is important to refrain from talking to the other driver’s insurance company, even if they contact you.
Your word can hurt your car accident claim
After a crash, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you by phone. They will ask you several questions to get your side of the story about how the crash occurred.
Insurance companies have a way of backing you into a corner and tricking you into saying the wrong thing. Even if you believe that your argument is working in your favor, you may say something that can be construed as fault. Your statements will be recorded and can later be used against you, even if you decide to hire an attorney to handle your claim.
Your silence can’t be used against you, however. That’s why it is best to tell the other driver’s insurance company that all questions can be answered by your attorney.
Insurance companies are good at shifting the blame
Fault can sometimes be construed as a gray area, especially when there hasn’t been a full investigation conducted by an attorney. For example, if the ground was wet at the time of your crash, the other driver’s insurance company may claim that the weather conditions were to blame, not the actions of the driver who hit you.
An investigation by an attorney may reveal that the driver was texting, speeding, or behaving recklessly. Evidence of fault may be revealed through:
- A subpoena of cellphone records
- Surveillance camera footage
- Dash cam footage
- Witness statements
You may be coaxed into a lowball settlement
The last thing the other driver’s insurance company wants to do is have to negotiate with your attorney for a fair settlement or go to trial. Insurance companies are willing to give up a small amount of money to save more overall.
They may offer you a lowball settlement to make your claim go away. Accepting a lowball settlement can be dangerous for two reasons:
- No true value has been placed on your claim: In order to obtain full compensation for all crash-related damages, your attorney will need to tally up your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages (pain, suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and punitive damages).
- Once you accept a settlement, its case closed: If you accept a lowball settlement from an insurance company, it will only pay for a fraction of your damages. You may later find out that you need to undergo surgery or months of physical therapy due to your injuries. That’s why it is best to refrain from accepting a settlement without having an attorney advocating for you.
When do I have to speak to insurance companies?
You’re only required to report your crash to your own insurance company. Be careful not to stray from the basic facts, as insurance companies do talk to each other. Other than that, the only person you should talk to is an experienced Texas car accident attorney.
Karam Law Firm, based in McAllen, offers free legal consultations to new clients. If you were injured in a crash, we can help you explore your legal options and devise a winning strategy to help maximize your compensation. Contact us to find out how.