You have just been injured in a car accident. You have informed your insurance company about the accident, and you just want to get the process started and over with.
Instead of giving your insurance company all of the information about the accident, saying less could actually help your case in the long run. Your Boston personal injury lawyer will help you devise a plan for discussions with your insurance company and the other side’s insurance company as they pertain to your specific case. Keep the following in mind as you go through this process.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING!
Most importantly, do not sign or verbally agree to anything. Adding your signature to anything is binding, and it can put an end to your case immediately. Adjusters will describe the paperwork as “just routine” or “normal procedures” – But don’t do it!
Know who you are talking to and all their contact information
Before you talk to anyone about anything regarding your accident, get the following information recorded accurately. You may need this information later in your case.
- The name of the person who is talking to you,
- Their address and telephone number(s),
- The name of the insurance company,
- The name(s) of the person or business the insurance company represents.
Calm, Cool, and Collected
Your actions or reactions are important to the results of your case. Even though you are justified in being upset or even angry about the accident and your resulting injuries, taking out your frustration on the insurance adjuster can hurt your case. Being rude to the adjuster can affect their willingness to step up and assist you with your claim. They are human beings, and just like you, do not respond well to angry, verbal abuse.
You can be nice, professional, and sincere in expressing your need of their assistance. The adjuster’s positive experiences with you will pay off in prompt handling of your claim.
Limit Personal Information
In providing information to the insurance adjuster, your Boston personal injury lawyer will advise you to give only the basic information, including your full name, address, and telephone number. During these first discussions, you do not need to explain or provide additional information about your work, your schedule, income, family, or any other personal information.
Warning: Do Not Give Any Details of the Accident
This warning pertains to your conversations with the other person’s or company’s insurance company. They may try to get you to give a “statement” about how or why the accident happened or just subtly get you to tell them about the accident. Politely provide only the most basic facts. Say that your investigation is ongoing and you will discuss the specific details “at the appropriate time.” You and your Boston personal injury lawyer will provide a written demand for compensation in which you will provide the specifics of the accident in detail.
Do not commit yourself to the identification of any witnesses to your accident. Again respond that there “may be witnesses and that your lawyer will let the insurance company know “at the appropriate time.” You should, however, ask if they know of any witnesses.
Parties of Responsibility
Adjusters may ask about the potential of other responsible parties, those other than you and their insured. You can provide the basic identifying information you may have and a general description of how this other person(s) was involved. Again, do not discuss the specific details of your accident. You should ask them whether they know of anyone who might be responsible for the causes of the accident.
Injury Details – General Descriptions Only
Do not give specific details or opinions regarding your injuries. You do not want to leave something out or find that the injury is worse than originally thought or entirely different. Insurance companies have a way of downplaying your injuries even if you explain them fully.