When you are involved in a car accident, your insurance company is supposed to be there to help you. Under your mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as well as other potential policies you may have, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages—but actually recovering those benefits can be a challenge.
Believe it or not, your insurance company does not always have your best interests at heart. In fact, many insurance adjusters will go to great lengths to dispute, undervalue, or even deny rightful claims. In the aftermath of the accident, it is very important that you know what to do—and what not to do—to avoid accidentally compromising your claim. When dealing with the insurance adjuster, the things you say can have a big impact on the outcome of your case, and not always in a good way.
Here, we’ve put together a helpful list of tips on what not to say to your insurance company after a car accident in Kentucky, along with some things you should do after the crash. Follow these steps to help ensure the claims filing process goes smoothly. You can also contact our Bowling Green car accident lawyers at Kentucky Injury Law Center to discuss your situation during a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and learning how we can help you with your claim.
Do Not Admit Fault
One of the most important things to avoid doing after a car accident is admitting fault. Even if you believe you were partially to blame, you should avoid saying anything to this effect, especially when talking to your insurance company. This includes apologizing or discussing how you could have acted/reacted differently.
Remember, only a comprehensive investigation into the accident can determine exactly what happened and who was to blame. The other driver may have committed a traffic offense you were not aware of, such as using a cell phone out of sight on their lap while driving. However, if you admit fault, the insurance adjuster could use this to reduce your settlement, or you could find yourself unable to step outside Kentucky’s no-fault system to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
At Kentucky Injury Law Center, we strongly recommend that you avoid discussing the accident with your insurance company any more than necessary. You might unwittingly say something that could be construed as admitting fault, which could ultimately hurt your claim. Instead, allow our personal injury attorneys to handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. As your legal team, we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.
Do Not Downplay Your Injuries
It’s a common instinct to say things like, “I’m okay” or “it’s not that bad” in reference to an injury after a car accident. But downplaying your injuries can seriously hurt your claim.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the shock you are feeling might mask the true severity of your injuries. Some injuries don’t even appear for hours, days, or even weeks after a collision. Telling the insurance company that you are not injured or that your injuries aren’t that serious right after the accident—even if you believe that to be true—is never a good idea. In the following days, you might find your symptoms worsening, and your need for medical attention might become more significant. But, by that time, the insurance company has a record of you saying you weren’t seriously injured or weren’t injured at all. They can use this to dispute your claim, even when you have documented proof of medical treatment following the crash.
After an accident, avoid making any statements about your injuries or damages. See a doctor or another qualified medical professional and let them determine the severity of your injuries.
Do Not Stray from the Facts
When discussing the accident with your insurance company—or anyone else, for that matter, including the police officer who arrives on the scene or your attorney—you should stick to the facts. Avoid voicing your opinions about what happened, who is at fault, or the extent of your injuries or damages. Instead, relay only the basic, true facts and let your medical and legal teams handle the rest.
Do Not Give an Official/Recorded Statement
Immediately after the accident, you should avoid giving a statement of any kind to your insurance company, and you should never give an official statement without first speaking to an attorney. This includes oral or written statements, as any recorded statement could come back to hurt you and your claim. A Bowling Green car accident attorney at Kentucky Injury Law Center can advise you on when (if ever) you should provide a statement to your insurance company; contact us today to learn more!
Keep in mind that insurance adjusters may use a variety of tactics in an attempt to dispute or deny your claim, including looking at your social media accounts. Just as you shouldn’t make an official statement to your insurance provider without a lawyer, you should also never post about the accident on any social media or online platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The things you say in a social media post could ultimately come back to hurt your claim.
Do Not Agree to a Settlement Without Talking to a Lawyer
After a car accident, your insurance company might reach out to you days—or even hours—later to offer a settlement. Often, these initial settlements cover the cost of your immediate medical expenses, as well some other miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses, but they do not account for your future or ongoing damages. The initial settlement will likely not even come close to covering the full cost of your physical, emotional, and financial losses, but if you accept it, you typically cannot seek additional compensation later.
One of the best things you can do to protect your rights—including your right to full and fair compensation—after a car accident is contact an experienced accident attorney, like those at Kentucky Injury Law Center. When you put a lawyer by your side, you send a clear message to the insurance company that you are not willing to settle for anything less than the maximum amount you are owed. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the process, protect your rights, and advocate for you at every turn.
If you would like to speak to one of our compassionate and experienced lawyers at Kentucky Injury Law Center, call (270) 423-0023 for a free consultation.