What Should You Tell The Insurance Agent Following an Auto Accident?
Calling your insurance provider after an auto accident is an obvious step, but what do you say? It is worth remembering that what you say might be recorded, similar to a police report. What you say could affect the amount of compensation you ultimately receive for your medical bills and repairs. Here are some tips to help you speak to your insurance agent successfully.
1. Don’t Say Anything Directly After the Accident
Adrenaline and emotions may be high following an auto accident, but that doesn’t mean that you should try to tackle talking to insurance agents just yet. Take the time to seek medical care and protect yourself legally. Making the call to your insurance company can wait until after you’ve taken care of yourself. Look at your policy and see if you have a certain time limit to report an incident to your insurance. If needed, take a few days to gather your thoughts and obtain the services of an auto accident lawyer.
2. Limit the Information You Share
Refrain from apologizing or admitting guilt, and do not discuss your injuries with anyone. Injuries may manifest later, and it isn’t uncommon for other factors to arise during the investigation process. Wait to declare your injuries until you have been examined by your doctor. Avoid signing a medical release form from the insurance company until your attorney has advised you to do so.
Do not mention the names of family, friends, or doctors. If your accident goes to litigation, you may have to provide information regarding what you have shared with them concerning the accident. Insurance agents might also try to contact anyone you provide information about. You do not have to provide contact information for anyone not involved in the accident.
Limit the personal information you provide to insurance companies. You are only required to provide your full name, address, and phone number. If you desire, you may share where you are employed and the nature of your work, but your schedule, income, and other details of your work do not need to be explained.
3. Stick to the Facts
It is acceptable to tell the insurance agent “I don’t know” or “I can’t say at this time.” Sometimes it can take days for all the details of the accident, damages, and injuries to become known. If you are not completely sure, it is better to refrain from commenting. Do not share your opinion, or begin a sentence with the phrase “I think” or “I believe.”
When speaking to the insurance agent, you are not required to give a statement about the accident. All you need to tell them is the location, date and time, the type of accident, the vehicles involved, and the names of any witnesses. Remember, the investigation of the accident is still ongoing and you are free to decline to comment. Additionally, do not allow your conversations to be recorded. You will be providing a written statement when you have all the information surrounding the accident. It is not necessary for your statement to be recorded to make a case.
4. Other Tips
- Identify the person you’re speaking with. Ask for the name, address, and phone number of the person contacting you before speaking to them about your case.
- Take notes. Write down the information you receive as well as the information you provide as soon as the conversation ends.
- Do not tell the insurance agent that you don’t have a lawyer. Insurance agents may take more care with your claim if they know you have an accident lawyer on call.
- Don’t agree on a settlement. Your lawyer should review any settlement offers before you accept.
Our Philadelphia auto accident lawyers at The Beasley Firm are committed to protecting the victims of auto accidents. We work hard to secure the largest settlement for our clients, while providing compassionate service.