Handling your insurance company can seem daunting. If you have been involved in an accident, there is a lot to take care of, including yourself. Accidents can be traumatic and very stressful, and dealing with an insurance company may feel like an additional burden.
Chuck Philips, a Trinity insurance attorney, offers some helpful guidelines when speaking with your insurance company.
First, provide honest, simple answers to questions.
Your insurance company has the right to ask you questions about the accident, and you are required to answer. Additionally, your insurance company has the right to record the conversation.
Therefore, answer questions factually and simply, without offering too much information. It is best to give broad, general answers. For example, if your insurance company asks, “What color was the traffic light?” Simply reply, “It was red.” Or if they inquire about your injuries, keep things general. If you are experiencing lower back pain, simply answer, “My back hurts me.” Do not pinpoint the pain or use any medical terminology. Keep your answers honest, but simple.
Second, do not volunteer additional information.
Just answer the questions asked by your insurance company. For example, don’t go off on a tangent about how bad your day already was before the accident, talk about all the other things that had already gone wrong, and give them the impression that you may have been distracted or upset while driving.
Third, do not express regrets or admit fault.
It’s natural to replay an accident in your mind. It’s also normal to think through an accident and analyze what you might have been able to do differently that could possibly have led to a different outcome. Maybe you could have driven a little slower, or been a little more focused on the cars around you, or replaced your tires a little sooner.
But your conversation with your insurance company is not the time to express regrets and volunteer hypothetical scenarios. It’s not the time to assess who should have done this or shouldn’t have done that. Avoid speculation and just provide the facts.
Fourth, when in doubt, consult an auto accident attorney.
If you’re anxious about speaking with your insurance company or are not sure what to say and what not to say, you may find it helpful to consult with a lawyer first. A New Port Richey auto accident attorney such as myself, can give you some helpful tips and guidance before you call your insurance company.
Additionally, if at any time during the process of working with your insurance company you feel like they are not treating you the way you deserve, consult an attorney. Your insurance company is a for-profit company. They may say they are on your side, but they are also trying to pay out as little in claims as possible. If you feel like you are getting short-changed by your insurance company, you may need to hire an attorney who will truly be on your side and fight for what you deserve.
The Law Office of Charles S. Philips is a caring and compassionate firm that wants to help lift your burden during this difficult time. If you are nervous about speaking with your insurance company or have just suffered through an accident and don’t know what to do next, we’ll be happy to listen to you, answer your questions, and help you determine what to do next.