How to Deal With Another Person’s Insurance Company
February 11, 2019 | Personal Injury
Many experts would advise you against speaking with the other person’s insurance company. While you do need to call your own car insurance company to report the accident, you are under no obligation to talk to the other driver’s insurance carrier. The best way to deal with the other insurance carrier in most serious car accidents is to consult with a personal injury attorney. He or she will deal with them. Why should you do that? The other driver’s insurance company isn’t looking out for you. This is why you should work closely with your attorney to hep you know wht you should and should not say. If you do not have an attorney to help you with your auto accident claim, contact us right away and let us help you through the often confusing and tricky process!
The other insurance company isn’t your friend
Insurance companies will always work for their client and will want to do and give as little for your claim as they can- their focus is on their client and not you. They will strive to do two things as much as they can when a client of theirs is in an auto accident:
- Denying the maximum number of car accident claims outright.
- Negotiating the lowest possible settlement on other car accident claims.
This allows them to pay as little as possible for any and all claims by not even paying anything on as many as possible. Most car accident victims aren’t insurance adjusters or attorneys or even familiar with the legal process of insurance policy and the insurance companies know that. They will use this to their advantage. You’re on their home field and it’s their rules and they will use it to their advantage to the max each and very time. So, it is best to not give them ammunition and not deal with them unless you absolutely have to.
Why it’s risky to talk to other insurance companies
By talking to the insurance adjuster for the other driver, there is a good chance that you are fouling up your own case. That insurance company will try to use whatever you say against you later in the claim, whether it was your fault or not. Insurance adjusters are very well trained to use what you say against you. There is no legal requirement for you to cooperate or talk to the other insurance company. But this will rarely or ever stop that insurance company from trying to contact you. If they do, it’s a good idea to not take the call and to talk to an attorney. When you do speak to anyone about the accident, note the details of your conversation in a journal.
They will want to record you
If you do make the move to reach out to the other person’s insurance company after an auto accident that thy caused, you will want to assume you are going to be recorded. This means anything you say on the phone will be applied to the claim and a simple mis-statement can really undo any good your own insurance company has been working so hard towards.
A recorded statement may be very damaging. They can use what you say, twist it, misrepresent it and try to say you have no valid claim. That is their ultimate goal because if you do not have a valid claim, they do not have to honor it and will not pay anything. So, it’s best to say nothing! Not every insurance company will play games with you on the phone. But if they do try to undermine your case, it can really screw things up.
You don’t know your whole medical situation
If you have been in a serious auto accident, you may not know the full extent of your injuries and necessary medical care. You could give an inaccurate portrayal of your injuries or undervalue the cost of your medical care or say something that portrays your injuries as less than they really are or end up being. This is the reason why shady insurance adjusters are notorious for trying to contact car accident victims ASAP and to get a recorded statement from them as soon as they can. They want to get a good idea of what the case likely is worth so they can set what is known as ‘reserve value.’ Once the adjuster has the reserve value in mind, they likely will fight very hard to avoid paying anything over that estimated case value. If you talk to another party’s insurance provider without your attorney you can easily say or do something that will cause them to value that claim as less than what you are seeking and less than what you actually deserve. That boosts the odds that a lawsuit will have to be filed, you will have a much longer process ahead of you to get our claim paid, or you may risk losing all or most of your ward value simply because you spoke too soon to the wrong people!
There are exceptions where you may talk
Anytime you are dealing with car accidents and insurance companies there will always been some exceptions to these rules. In rare cases is may be ok to talk to the other party’s insurance provider to speed up the processing of the claim. If the car accident was minor with little damage done to your vehicle and no major medical issues caused by it and it is clear that the other driver is 100% at fault then speaking to the other adjuster can be ok. You might consider doing so if the police report states the other driver caused the wreck. If the other driver was cited by the police – even better. Another situation where you usually will be ok talking to the other insurance company is if the other driver is 100% at fault and was found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
However, if you dealing with a major accident and injuries that involve any of the following, you should only be working with a personal injury attorney and letting them handle all the communications with insurance companies and third parties:
- Broken bones, any head injury, stays in hospitals, long term side effects, loss of limbs
- Medical treatments that end up costing you more than $2000
- Missing more than just a few days from work or school or other responsibilities
- Any dispute regarding which driver was at fault for the accident
- Several people were involved and multiple drivers or passengers were injured
- Insurance company is refusing to pay your claim or are offering much less as payment
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