It can be challenging to know what to do after a car accident, especially when insurance companies start calling you. You may be prepared to give your insurance company a brief statement; however, what should you do if the other driver’s car insurance company calls? You need to be prepared to handle the situation carefully. Protect your rights at all costs.
Why Is the Other Driver’s Insurance Calling?
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. That means that your car insurance should cover your damages first. However, there are multiple reasons the other driver’s insurance company may call you.
Insurance Companies Always Complete an Investigation
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you soon after the car accident, they probably want information about what happened. They are trying to complete their file to determine who is at fault and if there will be future claims.
Never admit fault to the other driver or the insurance company. Even if you think you may be partially to blame, don’t tell them you know you did something wrong. You should let your car accident lawyer handle all communication with the other driver’s insurance company. Otherwise, they may use what you say against you if you have to file a claim with them later.
They May Try to Deny Your Liability Claim
Suppose you have made a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to cover excess damages not covered by your no-fault insurance. In that case, the other insurance company may be trying to deny your claim. They will likely ask many questions about what you did before and during the accident. They aim to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all.
They May Offer You a Quick Settlement
If the insurance company suspects their driver is at fault, they may try to stop your future claim with a quick settlement and release. They will make you a lowball settlement offer that will not cover all your excess damages. You should never accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company. They are trying to minimize what they pay out.
They Want to Talk to You Before You Get an Attorney
Insurance companies often take advantage of people who don’t know their rights and aren’t sure how to protect themselves. You should never talk to an insurance company before you consult a car accident lawyer. The insurance company may try to get you to admit fault or sign documents stating you won’t file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and the insurance company.
Tips for Talking with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other driver’s insurance company calls you, you should direct them to your attorney. They will likely try to encourage you to talk, but you can tell them it’s not a good time. Let them know that you have a car accident lawyer, and they should not contact you personally again.
However, if you do decide to talk to the other driver’s insurance company, here are some tips that can help you protect your rights:
- Only answer the questions you’re asked.
- Don’t volunteer additional information.
- Do not admit fault.
- Tell them the facts, not your opinions.
- Do not guess or make assumptions about anything.
- Avoid discussing your injuries and other damages.
- Never let the insurance company record you.
- Do not give the insurance company a written statement.
Ensure you get the caller’s name and contact information and the name of the insurance company they represent.
You Aren’t Obligated to Answer Their Questions
Remember, you do not have to answer other driver’s insurance company questions. You may refuse to give a statement. You are only required to provide the insurance company a statement if it is court-ordered, which may happen after you file a lawsuit for damages. Always direct the insurance company to your attorney for your statement.
Don’t Agree to Sign Anything or Accept a Settlement
The insurance company may ask you to sign documents. Their goal is likely to prevent a future lawsuit. The documents may be called a “release” and may try to get you to give up your right to sue for compensation. Never sign these documents or agree to anything over the phone.
The insurance company may also offer you a settlement. They may even tell you that a lawsuit will only slow down the process and complicate things. While it is true that a personal injury lawsuit can take a significant amount of time, it may be the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
Anything You Say Can Hurt Your Case
You might think you can clear up what happened by talking to the insurance company. However, they will use everything you say against you. Your statements may seem innocent, but insurance companies will take words out of context and use them to deny or reduce your claim. You should never talk to them without legal assistance because your words may hurt your future claim.
Should You Ever Talk to the Other Insurance Company?
The other driver’s insurance company is not your friend. They will use tactics to work against you. You should never talk to them alone. Your car accident lawyer can help you develop a statement and send it to the other insurance company. Your attorney can communicate with them on your behalf if they need more information.
You should even be careful talking to your own insurance company. They are also in business to make money and aren’t trying to help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible. Let your attorney handle communication with all insurance companies.
Let Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC Handle Your Claim
If an insurance company has contacted you after a car accident, call an attorney who can guide you through the process of making a statement and communicating with insurance. The other driver’s insurance company will be trying to avoid paying you money. Even your own insurance will try to reduce a payout. Protect your rights by working with an experienced car accident lawyer who will handle the legal process for you.