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

September 30, 2023 | By DJC Law Attorneys
What Should I Not Tell My Insurance Company After an Accident?

While you must report a car accident to your insurance provider, you should avoid telling them anything that can jeopardize your claim or result in lower compensation.

In fact, secure representation from a skilled Texas car accident attorney before speaking to any insurance companies, even your own. The right lawyer can protect your rights, beginning with initial insurance conversations all the way through the conclusion of your case, whether that be a negotiated settlement or a trial.

What Not to Tell the Insurance Company After an Accident

To protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome, here's what you should not tell your insurance company after an accident. Remember, avoid speaking with the insurer at all and allow your attorney to handle all communications.

However, always avoid the following if you speak with your insurance company.

Admitting Responsibility for the Incident

It's a common-sense principle, but worth reiterating: Never admit fault for the accident, even if you reside in a no-fault state.

Confessing fault can lead to unfavorable consequences, such as:

  • Claim denial
  • Undervalued compensation
  • Contention of your case by the insurer

Insurance companies prioritize profits and can and will look for any reason to reject claims.

It's natural to feel shaken and emotional after an accident, but avoid apologizing or admitting fault. Any insurer will misconstrue "I'm sorry" as an admission of guilt, damaging your claim. Let the authorities and your lawyer determine fault based on evidence and facts.

Disclosing Mind-Altering Substances Before the Crash

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Even if you consumed alcohol or took an over-the-counter or prescribed medication several hours before the accident, refrain from sharing this information with the claims adjuster.

Impaired driving violates the law, and merely hinting at intoxication hours before the accident can provide grounds for the insurer to dismiss your claim, regardless of whether you were impaired during the collision.

Minimizing the Severity of Your Injuries

Downplaying your injuries and suffering while conversing with the insurance company may seem admirable, but it's counterproductive. However, injuries can worsen over time, and what appears minor can develop into a severe medical issue.

Underestimating your injuries might prompt the insurer to offer an inadequate sum that falls short of covering medical expenses and related care. Avoid telling them you feel fine or don't think you have any injuries.

Exaggerating Injuries or Damages

On the other hand, you don't want to make your injuries out to be something they aren't. While you should be honest about your injuries and damages, avoid exaggerating or embellishing details to maximize your claim.

Insurance adjusters know how to identify inconsistencies, and exaggeration can undermine your credibility and harm your case.

Speculating About Future Medical Conditions

Additionally, when discussing your injuries with your insurance company, avoid speculating about potential medical conditions or complications.

Stick to the facts of your current injuries as medical professionals diagnosed. Speculation can give the insurance company reasons to dispute your claim or suspect you of dishonesty.

Providing Excessive and Irrelevant Details

When discussing the accident with your insurance company, stick to the facts and provide essential details. The insurer wants the facts surrounding the accident, not your life history or what happened the day before or after the accident.

Avoid elaborating on unrelated matters or speculating about what might have happened. Sharing unnecessary information can lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations that complicate your claim.

While it might feel good to talk to someone and vent about your life, excessive information can harm your case. Focus on essential aspects and avoid discussing unrelated matters, such as family, employment, past accidents, or injuries unrelated to the incident at hand.

Offering Personal Opinions on Fault

Regardless of your certainty, personal opinions about fault are subjective. Statements attributing blame, even if valid, can compromise your case. Exercise caution before sharing opinions unless you can substantiate your claims with evidence. Provide factual information about the accident and your experience, not your opinion about fault. Your attorney can help you with the rest.

Revealing Names of Unnecessary Individuals

Never share the names of family members, friends, or witnesses with the insurance company. Claims adjusters might contact these individuals searching for information that contradicts your case. However, share these names with your attorney. They might have valuable evidence in support of your injury claim.

Admitting You Haven't Retained an Attorney

Insurance companies favor dealing with unrepresented individuals, as they can employ questionable practices, present inadequate settlements, and obstruct the claims process.

Insurers are more cautious when interacting with injured parties with legal counsel, knowing they can't exploit you.

Legal representation holds insurers accountable and deters unethical behavior. Retain an experienced accident attorney before speaking with the insurance company. But even if you haven't, you don't want them to know you are unrepresented.

Agreeing to Provide a Recorded Statement

Insurance adjusters might request a recorded statement about the accident. They may even give you the impression you need to provide one.

While you may need to cooperate with your insurance company, consult an attorney before providing a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters may ask leading questions or try to catch you off guard, potentially undermining your claim. You likely have no obligation to give one, and your attorney can protect your interests. The insurance company can go through your legal counsel if it needs information.

Saying Yes to an Initial Hasty Offer

Insurance companies often aim to settle claims quickly to minimize their payouts. While this may not apply in cases where insurers process claims transparently and offer full compensation, such instances are, unfortunately, very rare.

After an accident, you may receive an early settlement offer before fully grasping your claim's value. This attempt to lowball your losses can leave you with unanticipated expenses if you accept the offer without comprehending the true extent of your damages. Accepting an early settlement offer might not fully cover your medical costs, property damage, or future losses.

To their benefit, if they contact you with a low offer before you can speak to an attorney, you are more likely to accept their offer out of desperation and lack of knowledge about your claim's actual value. Consult a skilled accident attorney before accepting any settlement to ensure it's fair and comprehensive.

Open and strategic communication with your insurance company is paramount after an accident. However, exercising discretion in what you share can protect your rights and optimize your chances of receiving fair compensation. Consult a seasoned accident attorney to safeguard your legal rights.

Additional Steps to Protect Your Rights After an Accident

In addition to refraining from oversharing with your insurance company following a collision, take care in the days, weeks, and months that follow the crash.

Here are several steps to protect your legal rights after an injury accident.

Make hiring an attorney and pursuing compensation for your injuries a top priority. You can lose your legal right to compensation if you wait too long. All states have a personal injury statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a strict legal deadline for injured parties to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries.

If you fail to file your claim within this deadline, you can no longer seek compensation for your injuries. Each state has different laws about how long this deadline is, and it can even vary depending on the nature and details of your accident. For example, the statute of limitations for claims against the government is typically shorter than other claims.

On the other hand, if the claim involves injury to a minor child, they usually have a longer statute of limitations as it often pauses until they reach 18.

Document Everything and Maintain Records

You will also benefit from maintaining a detailed record of all communications related to the accident. This includes conversations with insurance representatives, medical providers, and other parties involved. Keep copies of medical bills, receipts, repair estimates, and other relevant documents. You can share these with your attorney to provide evidence for your claim.

Limit Social Media Use

Exercise caution when sharing information online, whether over social media or other public platforms. Claims adjusters can access your online presence and exploit any shared content to challenge your case. For example, a seemingly innocuous photo of you enjoying a social event can suggest that your injuries are less severe than you claim.

Stop all social media activity during your case. Insurance companies are looking for reasons to undervalue or reject claims, so the less information you provide, the better. Discuss your social media posts with your attorney to determine their advice before moving forward with social media use after an injury accident.

Prioritize Seeking Medical Attention

One of the most crucial steps after an accident is seeking prompt medical care. Not only does this prioritize your well-being, but it also demonstrates your commitment to recovering fully. Neglecting medical attention or prematurely discontinuing treatment can raise concerns for insurers and make it seem like you aren't really injured or don't care if you get better. Unfortunately, such actions might even lead to claim dismissal or an unjust settlement offer. Documenting your medical care journey provides valuable evidence of your injuries and recovery process.

Report the Incident to Law Enforcement

If you haven't already, report your accident to law enforcement. Reporting the collision to law enforcement is typically mandatory in cases involving injuries.

Neglecting this responsibility can lead to legal consequences, including potential hit-and-run charges. Moreover, failing to notify law enforcement can cast doubt on the credibility of your claim. The police report is a crucial piece of evidence that establishes essential details about the accident, including the parties involved and the timing of the incident.

Never Handle Your Injury Case Alone

After enduring an accident's physical and emotional toll, don’t make dealing with a complex legal case another burden. Instead, entrust your claim to a proficient accident lawyer.

With their skills and knowledge, they can navigate the details of your case, manage communications & negotiations with the insurance company, and advocate for your compensation rights. This relieves you from the stress of handling legal matters while recovering from your injuries.

Practicing discretion in your post-accident actions will safeguard your accident claim's integrity. Seeking medical care promptly not only aids your recovery but also strengthens your claim. Fulfilling your obligation to report the accident to law enforcement ensures the availability of a comprehensive and authoritative account of the incident. Lastly, entrusting your legal case to an experienced attorney empowers you to focus on your recovery while securing your rightful compensation.

Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney Today

Dealing with insurance companies after an accident requires caution and informed decision-making. If you need to communicate with your insurance provider, safeguard your rights and protect your claim's value.

An experienced accident attorney can provide invaluable guidance and take over communications with the appropriate insurance companies to recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Texas today to start your claim and protect your rights