If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident in West Virginia, you will likely have to deal with insurance carriers very soon after the incident occurs. In fact, you will probably receive a call from the other driver’s insurance carrier within a day or two after the crash. Here, we want to discuss what you should and should not say to the other driver’s insurance claims adjuster when they call your phone.
Be Polite, But Be Firm
When the other driver’s insurance carrier contacts you, and they will likely do this within the first week after the accident, we encourage you to be polite. Nobody gains a thing by being rude or using foul language, no matter how mad they are and no matter how much they think the other driver caused the crash.
However, we encourage you to be firm when the other driver’s insurance carrier starts asking questions. Keep in mind that the insurance carrier will want to limit how much money they payout, and they are not your friend.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
Insurance carriers commonly tell individuals that they have to give a recorded statement before they can proceed forward with the claim. This is not true, and Colorado law does not require recorded statements to be made to insurance carriers. If the insurance carrier insists on recording your statement, tell them that you do not consent to that and that you will be seeking assistance from a lawyer if they insist.
Here is What You Should Say
If you have a Charleston car accident attorney, they should be the ones to handle conversations with the other driver’s insurance carrier. However, we know that not every person will contact a lawyer for help with their vehicle accident claim. If you speak to the other driver’s insurance carrier, there are some basic points that we want you to keep in mind:
- Stick to the facts of the case as you know them. Do not speculate as to who or what caused the accident. Do not make any guesses. Only relay what you saw and what you told police officers at the scene of the accident. Anytime you change your story, this could be used against you and would be a reason to deny the claim.
- Let the insurance carrier know that you are seeking medical treatment. You do not have to go into detail about the types of injuries you have sustained. All the insurance carrier needs to know is that you are seeking medical care.
- You can certainly relay information about your personal auto insurance carrier to the other driver’s insurance carrier. They likely already have this information, and at this point, you should have already told your insurance carrier about the incident. Usually, claims are resolved through conversations back and forth with insurance carriers.
Here is What You Should Not Say
There are certain statements and conversations you should absolutely avoid with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier:
- Do not go into detail about your personal injuries in Charleston. Until you have been cleared by a doctor, which means you have reached maximum medical recovery, there is no way of knowing the full extent of the medical treatment you need. For example, if you tell the insurance carrier that you have only sustained a minor arm injury but later discover that the accident caused additional injuries, the insurance carrier will try to hold you to only the arm injury when it comes to compensation.
- Do not engage in any small talk with the insurance carrier. Insurance claims adjusters are very good at their jobs, and they make people comfortable on the phone. They may act like your friend and get you to talk about your day-to-day activities. These conversations are meant to throw you off balance and get you to admit to things that you would not otherwise talk about. Even something as simple as saying that you took your kids to a ball game could be used against you.
- Never accept blame. Even if you think you may have been partially responsible for the accident, let the investigating insurance claims adjuster figure that out on their own. You do not need to help them make their case.