Attorneys from Around
the Country Share these Tips
Dealing with the insurance company after an accident can be stressful and can leave you with any questions. Are they going to give you a fair settlement? Do you need a lawyer? Should I be agreeing to a recorded statement? (spoiler alert…NO!) Not every accident requires hiring an attorney but we wanted to ask accident lawyers around the country for some free advice on dealing with the insurance company after an accident.
Here are the 24 tips below.
Don Jacobs Northwest Injury Law Center
Don’t give a recorded statement. Insurance companies will tell you this is routine and they always do these. Well, there’s a reason for that. They often use them to minimize your recovery. Granted, you might be lucky and the statement might not reduce what you recover in settlement, but they rarely if ever help your case. Stay away from these like the plague.
Labovick Law Group
West Palm Beach, Florida Personal Injury Attorney
The insurance company may ask, “What are the nature and extent of your injuries?” It sounds like a harmless question, but do not give a detailed account. Why? You may leave something out, an injury may worsen or be more extensive than you’d previously thought. Say that you are still “treating” and decline further comment. This is well within your rights.
Mike BombergerEstey & Bomberger
San Diego, California Personal Injury Attorney
You may want to use your own collision coverage than pursing a property damage claim from the at-fault party’s carrier. The reason is your carrier will repair your car first and questions later. The upside is you get your car back on the road faster. The downside is you likely will have to pay your collision deductible up front. However, assuming you are not at fault, your carrier will recover your deductible for you and reimburse you. The alternative, is to wait for the at fault carrier to talk to all drivers/witnesses and conclude their investigation until they are in a position to accept your claim. Assuming that they do accept responsibility, you are often 30, 60, 90 days down the road. All the while, you are out of a car.
Jonathan Williams Larry R. Williams, PLLC
Nashville Personal Injury Attorney
Another important point is that they should never give their statement to the insurance company without having an attorney present.
Justin HillHill Law Firm
San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer
Be extremely careful before agreeing to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. If there were injuries involved, I would strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney who has many years of experience handling car accident lawsuits. Also, it’s important to know that the insurance company knows which attorneys settle all their cases and which ones will take a case to trial if need be. The insurance companies want to avoid trial because it’s expensive so some insurance companies will often vary their settlement offers depending on who the attorney is representing the plaintiff. So, make sure you hire an experienced trial lawyer to handle your case so you can increase the chances of a larger settlement.
Sam WendtWendt Law Firm P.C.
Kansas City, Missouri Car Accident Lawyer
Do not settle too quickly. People sometimes assume they will recover from their injuries, and then they end up agreeing to a small settlement based on that assumption. However, we don’t always fully heal exactly as expected. If the injury becomes chronic there’s nothing that can be done. You’ve already settled and even though you have more medical bills, you end up having to pay all those yourself. So, don’t make the mistake of settling too quickly. Patience can be important when it comes to settling personal injury claims.
Dylan Pollard Pollard | Bailey
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
Attorneys, not clients, should give adjusters everything they want to properly value the claim. Too often attorneys think it is adversarial. It doesn’t mean you’re rolling over on the client. I think of it as positioning the case, convincing the adjuster to value it properly and making sure they know I will file if they do not. Clients should not do this on their own or they risk getting tricked and saying the wrong thing to an adjuster. A lawyer skilled in dealing with adjusters however knows how cases are valued and without fear provides the adjuster with the proper medical records and opinions to show causation and injuries, and the proper wage loss, life care plan, vocational report and economic loss report to support a complex claim. Not every case needs or warrants this of course but a good lawyer is ready to provide it when warranted and simply file the case, litigate it further or even try it if necessary but only if the case cannot be resolved swiftly and at a good value for the client.
Ramsey Law Group
Houston, Texas Car Accident Lawyer
It’s important not to give a recorded statement to the other side’s insurance company if you’ve been injured in an accident. Adjusters will often say that they’re just needing to get information and will record the call. The reason they want to record the call, is to try to get you to say something that will hurt the value of your claim. It’s an unfair fight; insurance adjusters are trained in obtaining recorded statements, whereas you are not trained to give one. That’s why it’s best to have an attorney handle this for you.
Scott LiljegrenLiljegren Law Offices
San Diego, California Car Accident Attorney
After any motor vehicle accident, if you are physically able and it is safe to do so, take as many photographs as possible of damage to your car, any other cars involved, any property involved (e.g., fences, buildings, guardrails, trees, mailboxes, etc.), and injuries. One cannot have too many photographs or too much information when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. Remember, they want to pay you as little as possible for accident claim. Having documentation and witnesses to what actually happen is important to helping you maximize your recovery.
Michael Flanagan Flanagan Law Firm, P.A.
Miami Car Accident Attorney
If you or a family member were injured, and have visible injuries, take photographs of your injuries, and do that every several days to document your recovery.
David BrestonLaw Office of David Breston
Houston Defense Lawyer
Always call the police if in a fender bender, especially if it is not your fault. This helps to document the crash (when, where, how, why, etc.) and to obtain necessary information about the other driver. Inevitably, there is a dispute about the above, and a police officer may help resolve some of the disputed issues.
Preserve as much evidence as you can. You will need to provide the insurance company or court with enough evidence to prove the other driver’s liability.
Jim KnowlesKnowles Law Firm
Omaha, Nebraska Personal Injury Lawyer
If fault for the accident is clear and there is no personal injury ok to deal directly with insurance company. Be mindful that their loyalty is to the or employer, not you. You are not “their” customer so they have no incentive to please you.
Arthur Elk Elk & Elk Co., Ltd
Cleveland, Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer
If fault can or will be disputed, do not give them a statement and hire an attorney as the insurance company will take the most aggressive position possible against you. Even if fault is clear against their driver, and you are injured, immediately hire an attorney. Although this is not a criminal matter, be mindful that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. Insurance companies are in business to make money. You represent a cost. Their mission is to reduce costs. Hiring an attorney levels the playing field for you and ensures that you will receive the compensation required by law.
Spencer EisenmeingerFowler Pickert Eisenmenger, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer
Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. You are under no obligation to do so.
Michael KellyWalkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
Sacramento, California Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are not going to hire an attorney right away, the only time you should talk to the other driver’s insurance company is when you call to report the claim or confirm that a claim has been opened. Then only tell date, place and time and see #1 above. Then you should not talk to them again until you have either finished your medical treatment or been told by your doctor you have a permanent condition.
Douglas Chanco ChancoSchiffer P.C.
Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
Do not sign a medical authorization for the other driver’s insurance company. You are under no obligation to do so. Rather, gather all of your medical records and medical bills and separate them by provider. Then you send a complete set to the medical provider.
Andrew C. BarrFulton & Barr
Remember, the law says you are entitled to the reasonable value of your medical services. This means you are entitled to what was billed for your medical care, and not just what was paid or that you paid out of pocket..
Greg ColburnColburn Law, Bellevue Car Accident Lawyer
Report the accident to your insurance company just so they are aware.
Nicholson Revell, LLP
Augusta, Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Immediately after a car accident, make sure you have pulled over in a safe place, and check yourself for injuries. Then, step out of your vehicle and ask if anyone else is injured. If you notice injuries, anyone unconscious or bleeding, or expensive property damage, it’s important that you call the police to report the car accident.
Stanley J. Marks Begam Marks & Traulsen, PA
Phoenix, Arizona Car Accident Lawyer
If you live in a comparative negligence state, you can recover damages if you’re partly at fault for an accident. Comparative negligence means that the person that is at fault doesn’t have to be 100% at fault, he may be 70% at fault, 80% at fault, or 20% at fault. All that means is that you compare the negligence of that person to any other person and if he’s only 20% at fault for causing the crash or the injury to the plaintiff, then he only has to pay 20% of the damages because he contributed that degree.
John PhebusThe Law Offices of John Phebus
Glendale, Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting paid underinsured insurance by your insurance company doesn’t mean your rates will go up. You have a contractual right to these payments based on someone else’s fault (not yours) and you paid an extra premium for these benefits.
Alejandro FiolFiol Law Group
Tampa, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Remember to stay at the scene after an accident occurs, and wait for authorities to get there, these accidents must get reported to the appropriate police department. Don’t admit fault for the accident and get a copy of the police report.
Tim MaloneyThe Law Office of Maloey & Campolo
San Antonio, Texas Personal Injury Lawyer
Take pictures of the vehicles at the scene and the damage to BOTH vehicles. This is to ensure all crash information is accurate and avoid evidence from being manipulated after the accident.
Chris SimonChristopher Simon, Attorney at Law
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
- If it’s your fault, report it to the insurance company. Be honest and cooperative.
- If it’s not your fault and you are fine, report it to the insurance company. Be honest and cooperative.
- If it’s not your fault and you are injured, consult with an attorney before speaking to either insurance company.
The most common piece of advice given by the attorneys here is do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company. Keep these tips in mind if you, a friend or a family member ever has to deal with the insurance company.
If you have any stories on dealing with insurance we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
It’s nice to see such a large list of tips regarding an issue as common as personal injury resulting from an accident. The consensus on having a lawyer present when speaking to the opposing insurance company (if even speaking to them at all) shows how important it is to have someone advise you when speaking on record. Thanks for sharing.
I recently got into an accident and was terrified to handle the insurance company. I appreciate the advice about not giving a recorded statement. I’ll have to get a lawyer to help me out with handling the hoops of the insurance company.
My car was totaled recently. A gal i let use the car actually hit a lady who ran a red light. The driver of my car had a green light and hit the other vehicle broadside. A woman came up to the car to make sure they were okay. She stated that she had called 911 and left her name and number with dispatch. She also said that she saw tthatmy driver had the right of way with a green light. The other driver said she had the green light so her insurance company contacted my cars driver and took a statement. I was there when it was taken. We didn’t know to not let it be recorded.
There are some errors on the police report. The officer has my driver in the outside Lane she was in the inside Lane for one. I did get a copy of the crash report as well. There was a supplemental report filed that contained the information from the second 911 call which was the witness for my driver…it was taking forever to get that supplemental report and b4 i was told the woman was contacted and said she didn’t want her information given out… which they took as her not wanting to give a statement..i received notice that the other driver’s insurance was blaming my driver a hundred percent and she too had a witness. Now this woman, who was a witness for my driver, she was the only thing standing between my driver being at fault and the truth being told. I never did contact my insurance company I should have done that instead of trying to do it myself. I live in Minnesota and the insurance company for the other driver is out of state, possibly Illinois. Is there anything that I can do at this point to fix this? I should point out too that it was very strange..the lady that was driving the other vehicle is a 64 year old woman from that area, the police officer who arrived on the scene about an hour after the accident made several mistakes on the police report as far as where the vehicles were, they had my driver in the outside lane… she was in the inside lane and there was a video that was taken at the intersection and he never bothered to check it and when I tried to get a copy of it I was told that it only existed for 14 days and now they’re writing over it. I wonder if the woman who was driving that other vehicle is somebody that nobody wants to mess with because even my witness has backed out. Am I just being paranoid or could this be the scenario? Any information that you could give me as to what I could do from here would be greatly appreciated.
I had an accident in April of this year. I was hit from behind by a company truck who claims to be changing lanes. His truck had a bent bumper and my car was also damaged. The impact made my seat belt lock and it was over my left shoulder which I had had surgery less than a year before. I have been getting treatment for my shoulder after the x-ray and MRI showed separation of tissue and bursitis. This last week, Thursday, October 25, 2018, on my way for treatment, I had a flat tire and pulled off the freeway to the service lane. My insurance sent a road service person to fix my tire. After he finished changing the tire, a man fell asleep on the wheel and hit me from behind. He totaled my truck and his and I was taken to the emergency room to check me out for injuries. Now I have another insurance company to deal with. How do I handle both as I have not yet settled from my accident in April? Thanks for your advice..