When a car accident happens, the at-fault driver’s goal is simple: they want to pay out no compensation if possible. If they have to, they want to pay as little money as possible to the victim. One day, you will get a call from someone else’s insurance company. If it’s not your insurance, what should you do? When they contact you, be prepared on what to say and how to respond. You want to make sure that you can protect your rights as much as you can with every action.
Should I Talk to Another Person’s Insurance?
The short answer if the other person’s insurance company wants to talk to you about the third party claim: you don’t. You have to speak and discuss policy options with your own insurance about your first party claim. You have no obligation, however, to discuss a settlement with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
If another company comes in contact with you, stay calm and be polite. Take all the necessary information about the other party first, including their name, company, and position. Take note of the information they give, but offer as little information as possible. If necessary, limit yourself to telling your name, address, and phone number.
If you can, do not volunteer any of your information, especially the ones pertinent to the accident. Never offer your health information, the extent of your injuries, your insurance company, and your claims. Note everything that happens within your conversation. If possible, take a video of the chat as evidence from your side.
To prevent an insurance adjuster for the other party from calling you, end the conversation with finality. Ask them not to contact you and tell them that you’ll contact them instead.
You Don’t Have to Talk to Other Insurance Adjusters.
In most states, the only requirement you have to fulfill is to talk to your own insurance. If you’re not comfortable talking to another person’s insurance, you have several options.
First, you can decline their request, which is the easiest way to do it. You can also forward them to your insurance adjuster from your own company. You can also tell them that you will only talk in the presence of your lawyer.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies know your rights. They will take advantage of it and will try their luck with you anyway. Be prepared to get their call, but make sure you are comfortable with what you’ll do first.
What Insurance Companies Want
Insurance companies always have a financial interest in protecting their clients. If they’re not your insurance, they’re not your friends. They’re not there to help you.
Every insurance has two interests that they’ll make sure to achieve:
- Deny the maximum number of claims outright
- Negotiate as little payout as possible on car accident claims
To reduce the claims they pay, they need to do any way they can to deny claims. Most accident victims don’t know how insurance works. Many are not personal injury attorneys who know the ins and outs of car accident laws.
Insurance Adjusters Will Probe You
An adjuster for a different company will try to probe you. They will ask questions that seem unrelated to the accident at all, but beware. Many insurance questions are designed to discredit you and dismantle your claims. Much like interrogators and police officers, anything you say can and will be used against you.
Companies will try to lead you to answer a question that they can use to force a settlement. They will use something that they can use against you once you file for claims or go to trial.
Make sure a personal injury attorney is with you to oversee what you can and cannot answer. An attorney will protect you from leading questions that are probing for disadvantageous answers.
Don’t Let Them Record or Write Down What You Say
Most insurance adjusters will never visit you “guns blazing.” They will do their best to be friendly, cordial, and chatty about your situation. Many adjusters will pretend that they care about you.
A common trick among insurance adjusters is to ask for your permission to record you. Don’t do it.
A recorded statement can damage your case, and it is physical evidence against you. They will do anyway to undermine your claims and use it against you. Never admit fault or say you’re not hurt.
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Michigan
If you are involved in a car accident, the top priority is to keep yourself safe. Make sure to document everything that happened to you and talk to a personal injury attorney.
Having a veteran Lansing car accident lawyer by your side can help protect you and your claims. They can make sure to uphold your rights.
Are you feeling uneasy getting multiple calls from another insurance company? Talk to an experienced lawyer today and find out how you can protect yourself.