The short answer is “no.” You’re not legally bound to even speak directly to the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a car wreck. The insurer may call you and try to have you say things you shouldn’t in the recorded statement, like admit fault.
Instead, have your attorney speak to the insurance agent on your behalf. They are aware of the insurer’s questionable tactics and will protect your right to compensation.
Why You May Benefit From Hiring a Car Wreck Lawyer Before Giving a Statement
After a car accident, there’s a lot of confusion. You’re stressed, rattled, and your adrenaline levels are high. Questions keep circling around in your mind, like, “Should I call and give a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company after the car wreck?”
The purpose of the at-fault insurance company getting you to give a recorded statement is to try to minimize the amount they have to pay you. Therefore, they can use some of your own words against you.
For instance, if you say something different than what you stated in the police report, they can use the disparity between the two statements to devalue or deny your claim.
The Significance of a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is considered a legal document, and anything you say can be used against you. A good rule thumb to always remember is that the insurance company for the at-fault driver is protecting their own bottom line, not your right to secure damages.
Beware of the Friendly Insurance Agent’s Call
If you receive a call from the at-fault driver’s insurer, politely end the call fast, telling the person they’ll have to speak to your insurance agent or attorney. You may also suggest that the agent get a copy of the police report if they want more details of the car wreck.
What Should and Shouldn’t You Say to the Insurance Companies
After a car accident, you should always call your insurer and tell them about the accident. Just give the essential details to start the insurance claim process. Include the at-fault driver’s information, the time and date of the accident, and your policy number. Other than stating these details, don’t offer expanded explanations of what happened. It can be helpful to write down the facts you can remember before the call.
If it’s soon after the car accident and you haven’t spoken with an attorney yet, you might get questions from either insurer. If this happens, give short, concise, honest answers.
- If you can’t recall specific information when asked, say you don’t recall.
- Never try filling in the blanks off the cuff. State the facts, nothing more.
- Never apologize, and don’t admit fault—even partially.
- Allow the investigation to unfold, which can bring pertinent information to the surface.
- If asked how you feel physically, don’t say, “I’m fine.”
- It can take time for some injuries to surface. Instead, you might say, “I’m still in the recovery process.”
You may want to hire a car accident attorney who will protect your rights and can speak for you (both to your insurance company and the at-fault insurance company).
Other Things a Car Accident Attorney Can Do For You
In addition to communicating with the insurer, your lawyer can handle other tasks for you, including:
- Retrieving a copy of the crash report
- Naming the at-fault and liable parties
- Evaluating your past and anticipated losses
- Gathering different types of evidence
- Interviewing your medical team and witnesses
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Bringing your case in front of a jury
They will provide all of these services in exchange for a contingency fee*, so no upfront, out-of-pocket, or hourly payments are required. Their fee will be subtracted from the compensation they procure for you. This way, your attorney can start building your case right away and limit your financial strains.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Deal With the Insurance Company for You
Beware of quick offers to settle. If it was a serious car accident, you may want to consult a car accident attorney at our firm to assess how much compensation you can recover. There are a lot of pitfalls in the process of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, so allow us to safeguard your rights.
Reach out to George Sink, P. A. Injury Lawyers for a free case review. There is no obligation or risk involved. We’re available 24/7 to take your call. Connect with our firm today.