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Clients often ask if they should speak with representatives from the insurance companies after being involved in an accident. Although we encourage all clients to report accidents to their insurance company, we must caution you from giving too much information, or speaking to the wrong people. A key distinction must be made between two different insurance companies: your auto insurance carrier versus the other driver’s auto insurance carrier.
Your insurance company (the one to which you pay premiums to protect you) has the right to know how the accident happened in determining who was at fault. In fact, your policy likely contains language that requires you to inform them about the details of the accident. However, you must be careful in giving out too much information, even to your own insurance company. You should withhold information about the extent of your injuries. Until all of your medical providers and doctors are able to diagnose and treat you, the extent of your injuries is not yet known. You do not want to limit your recovery based on the very limited information you know immediately after an accident. You should, however, feel free to discuss the damage to your vehicle and any estimates or repairs needed to fix your vehicle. Be careful not to discuss the intricate details of the collision without first speaking to an attorney whose job is to protect your rights.
The other driver’s insurance will attempt to contact you. Be VERY careful in discussing anything about your accident with the other driver’s insurance. Their only job is to evaluate your case in a way that saves their company money. Do not trust them.
We advise all of our clients to retain an attorney before contacting the other driver’s insurance company. They will attempt to minimize your claim as much as possible to save the company money. Commenting on your injuries to the other driver’s insurance is especially dangerous because they are recording everything that you say. Comments that may seem innocent to you can potentially jeopardize your case. Because of this, it is essential that you contact an attorney immediately after an accident so we can protect your rights, and ensure that the insurance company can’t trick you.
The risk of speaking to an insurance adjuster or representative before retaining an experienced lawyer is simply not worth taking. Trust experience over what may seem like common sense to make sure you don’t jeopardize your case.
Written by Jordan Lebovitz
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