What Should I Not Tell My Insurance Company After an Accident?

By June 20, 2024Car Accidents

Getting injured can be an overwhelming experience. You may be overwhelmed by the medical treatments, the expenses that go along with them, and the processes that follow. To be more specific, we are talking about having to deal with the insurance company. Communicating with the insurer may not be the most pleasant thing when trying to focus on healing and recovery. Nonetheless, it’s something that you cannot avoid (unless a lawyer represents you), so you need to know what things you should not tell your insurer to maximize your chances of a fair resolution. 

You should never deal with the insurance company alone; you can hire a car accident attorney to handle communications on your behalf.

Why You Should Be Careful When Speaking with the Insurance Adjuster

What Should I Not Tell My Insurance Company After an Accident

Most people do not think talking to the insurance claims adjuster will hurt their case, so they often approach such conversations without caution. However, there are several reasons why you should be careful when communicating with the insurance adjuster.

The Insurance Adjuster Doesn’t Have Your Best Interests in Mind

An insurance claims adjuster’s job involves getting information about the claimant and his/her claim to decide how much money the company should pay. When you’re involved in an accident, the insurance adjuster may seem friendly and eager to help. However, it’s important to remember that they do not have your best interests at heart. The adjuster works for the insurance company, and their primary goal is to minimize the amount of money their employer has to pay. This means they will often look for ways to reduce the value of your claim.

The Adjuster Is a Trained Negotiator

Make no mistake: insurance adjusters undergo extensive training in negotiation tactics. They are skilled at getting claimants to settle quickly and for less than they deserve. They might employ various strategies to convince you that your claim isn’t worth as much as you think or that the settlement they’re offering is the best you can get.

  • Tip: Do not rush into accepting any offers. Take your time to fully understand the extent of your damages and consult a car accident lawyer to evaluate the fairness of the offer.

The Adjuster Is Looking to Cast Doubt on What You Say

Another tactic used by insurance adjusters is to cast doubt on your statements. They may ask you to recount the accident multiple times, looking for inconsistencies in your story. Even minor discrepancies can be used to question your credibility and claim validity.

  • Tip: Keep detailed records of the accident, including photos, witness statements, and medical reports. Stick to the facts and avoid speculating or providing opinions when speaking with the adjuster.

The Adjuster Is Likely to Record Your Statements

In many cases, insurance adjusters will record their conversations with you. They might ask for your permission to record the call, but sometimes, they may not disclose that the conversation is being recorded. Then, these recordings can be used to scrutinize your statements and find ways to diminish your claim.

  • Tip: Politely decline to provide recorded statements until you consult an attorney. Besides, your car accident lawyer will explain that providing written statements is better, as they allow you to carefully consider your wording.

The Adjuster Can Trick You Into Saying the Wrong Things

Insurance adjusters know how to phrase questions in ways that can trip you up or lead you to make admissions that hurt your case. They might ask leading questions or frame their inquiries in a way that prompts you to downplay your injuries or admit fault.

  • Tip: Be mindful of the language you use and avoid answering questions that you are unsure about. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable, it’s perfectly acceptable to say you won’t provide an answer until you can seek legal advice.

Anything You Say Can (and Will) Be Used Against You

Every word you say to an insurance adjuster can be used to undermine your claim. Even casual remarks or seemingly innocent comments can be taken out of context and used to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or that you were partially at fault for the accident.

  • Tip: Communicate carefully and stick to the basic facts. Avoid discussing details of the accident or your injuries over casual conversations. When in doubt, consult with an attorney who can guide you on what to say and what to avoid saying. 

Things to Avoid Saying to the Insurance Company

There are certain things you do not want to say to the insurance company or its representatives if you have been involved in an accident.

“I think I’m okay”, “I feel fine” and anything that underestimates the severity of your condition

After an accident, it’s natural to want to reassure yourself and others that you’re okay. However, saying “I think I’m okay” or “I feel fine” can severely undermine the severity of your condition. Many injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest fully. By downplaying your condition early on, you risk having the insurance company use your own words against you to minimize the compensation you might deserve.

“I just wasn’t feeling myself that day” or anything that implies you were responsible for the accident

Things to Avoid Saying to the Insurance Company

Any statement that implies you were not in top form or fully responsible for your actions can come back to haunt you. Saying something like “I just wasn’t feeling myself that day” can be interpreted as an admission of fault. Insurance companies are adept at twisting words to their advantage. They can use this statement to argue that your lack of focus or poor judgment contributed to the accident, reducing or negating their liability.

“I think I can go back to work soon”

While optimism about your recovery is good, telling the insurance company that you are ready to return to work can hurt your claim. Such statements may lead the insurance company to believe that your injuries aren’t severe or that your recovery will be swift, thus reducing the compensation they offer. It’s better to avoid speculating about your recovery timeline and focus on factual information. How soon a person can return to work after an accidental injury depends on the severity of the injury and the person’s ability to cope, but insurance companies might not consider your individual circumstances when reviewing your claim.

“Okay, your first offer seems fair; I will settle the claim”

Insurance companies often present a low initial settlement offer, hoping claimants will accept it out of desperation. You might be leaving money on the table by agreeing to settle your claim without negotiation. Before accepting any offer, it’s crucial to fully understand the extent of your injuries, damages, and future expenses.

“I think this is how the accident happened…”

Speculating about the accident’s details can be detrimental to your claim. Saying anything that starts with “I think,” “I guess,” and “In my opinion” can give the impression that you’re unsure or that you might be hiding something. It’s essential to stick to the facts and only relay information you are sure of. The insurance company can use any inconsistencies in your account to dispute your claim.

“You want to record my statement? Yes, no problem with that”

Allowing the insurance company to record your statement without legal counsel can be risky. While it might seem like no big deal, recorded statements can be used against you later. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a way that may cause you to say something you didn’t intend to. As a result, you may inadvertently admit fault or downplay your injuries. If an insurer asks for a recorded statement, politely decline and say you wish to consult with an attorney. Your lawyer can then guide you on how to explain the incident best.

“Yes, I will share my medical records with you”

You may not realize it, but your medical records contain sensitive information that the insurance company can use to minimize your claim. By agreeing to share your medical records with the insurer, you give the company access to your medical history, not just the records related to your accident. They might use previous health issues to argue that your current condition is not solely due to the accident. Always consult with your attorney before sharing any medical records. They can help ensure that only the relevant information is disclosed.

“I agree with you, I don’t need an attorney”

Insurance companies prefer to deal with claimants who don’t have legal representation because it makes it easier for them to settle claims for less than they’re worth. Saying, “I agree with you, I don’t need legal counsel” plays right into their hands. An experienced attorney knows how to navigate the complex insurance claims process and can advocate for your best interests at all times. They can seek a fair settlement that adequately covers your damages and losses.

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney When Communicating with the Insurance Company

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney When Communicating with the Insurance Company

Now that you know what to avoid saying to the insurance company when seeking financial compensation, you should understand why hiring an attorney is the best thing you can do.

Your Lawyer Will Counter the Insurer’s Attempts to Undervalue or Deny Your Claim

Insurance companies are businesses, and like all businesses, their primary goal is to minimize costs and maximize profits. An insurance company’s profitability is based on underwriting performance and investment performance. Unfortunately, this often means that insurers will attempt to undervalue or deny legitimate claims. A skilled attorney knows how to effectively counteract these tactics to help injured people get the compensation they are entitled to.

  • Why it matters: Having a lawyer ensures the insurance company cannot take advantage of you. Without one, you may have no choice but to accept an unfair offer or the denial of your claim. 

Your Lawyer Will Strive to Negotiate the Best Possible Offer

Negotiation is a critical part of the claims process, an area where insurance companies have significant expertise. Without a lawyer, you may find yourself at a disadvantage during these negotiations. Car accident attorneys are skilled negotiators who know how to handle these discussions to get you the best possible offer.

  • Why it matters: Your attorney will understand the value of your claim and employ their negotiation skills to push for a better offer, ensuring you are not left with any out-of-pocket expenses.

Your Lawyer Will Communicate with the Insurance Company on Your Behalf, Helping You Avoid Unnecessary Stress

After a car accident, the last thing you need is the added stress of dealing with insurance claims. Hiring a car accident attorney allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle all communications with the insurance company.

  • Why it matters: When an attorney relieves your burden of having to deal with the insurance company, this can greatly reduce your stress levels and have a positive effect on your overall well-being.

Your Lawyer Will Ensure That All Your Statements Are Carefully Worded

One of the biggest mistakes victims make is providing statements to the insurance company without legal guidance. These statements can be used against you to reduce or deny your claim. An experienced car accident lawyer will ensure your statements are carefully crafted to avoid potential pitfalls.

  • Why it matters: When you work with an attorney who ensures that what you say is consistent and accurately reflects the extent of your injuries and damage, this can prevent the insurer from using your own words against you to undermine your claim.

Your Lawyer Will Prevent the Insurer from Delaying the Claims Process

Insurance companies sometimes delay the claims process, hoping you will become frustrated and accept a lower settlement. Any skilled attorney knows how to keep the process moving forward and can take legal action if necessary to prevent unnecessary delays.

  • Why it matters: Delays in the claims process can cause financial hardship and prolong your recovery, which you want to avoid at all costs. By working with a lawyer, you can avoid financial strain and move forward with your life. 

Your Lawyer Will Prevent the Insurer from Using Scare or Manipulative Tactics

Insurance companies may use scare tactics or manipulation to pressure victims into accepting low settlements. They may suggest that you don’t need a lawyer or that hiring one will complicate the process. A car accident attorney can protect you from these tactics and ensure you are treated fairly.

  • Why it matters: You don’t want to be intimidated or manipulated by the insurance company, do you? Having an attorney who advocates for your interests can provide peace of mind and pursue a fair outcome. 

You Are Less Likely to Say the Wrong Things When Your Lawyer Does All the Talking

Navigating the claims process involves numerous conversations and written communications with the insurance company. Saying the wrong thing can jeopardize your claim. When your lawyer handles all communications, you reduce the risk of making statements that can be used against you.

  • Why it matters: Insurance adjusters are trained to elicit statements that can be used to deny or devalue your claim. Allowing your lawyer to speak on your behalf minimizes the risk of inadvertently harming your case. 

As you can see, the things you say and the words you use when communicating with the insurance company can play a major role when it comes to fighting for your rightful compensation during the claims process. That is why it may be a good idea to consider getting Dunwoody personal injury attorney’s help.