What Should You Say To The Insurance Company After An Accident?
The first call with an insurance agent or adjuster after an accident can be crucial, and the main goal of insurance companies is to save themselves money. A good idea is to contact a car accident lawyer in Dallas who can deal with the insurance company for you. But if you have yet to hire a Dallas car accident lawyer, make sure you do NOT talk about any injuries you have sustained and you do NOT give your full account of the accident.
Things to Say to the Insurance Company
The insurance company will ask about your general information, but don’t get too specific. It is fine to tell them the following information:
- Your name and address
- The location and time of the accident
- The vehicle information of cars involved in the accident
- Names of any witnesses to the accident
If the insurance company asks about your account of the accident or specific details, the best option is to tell them that you are still recovering and investigating the accident yourself and your full account will come later once you get the services of a car accident lawyer.
Things NOT to Say to the Insurance Company
Sometimes, learning what not to say is more important than learning what to say. Much like in the legal system, anything you say to an insurance company after an accident can be used against you later in the case.
- Do not take blame for the accident or say “I am at fault.”
- Do not claim to be uninjured. Often, injuries may appear days later. If you claim not to be injured, the insurance company may try not to pay for your medical bills.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer. Insurance companies routinely low-ball the initial offer, and accepting it will mean that you cannot get a better offer after speaking with a car accident lawyer.
- Do not give an official account. Consult with a lawyer first to make sure your account does not inadvertently cause problems in court.
Giving Recorded Statements: Your Legal Rights
You are not legally obligated to make a recorded statement. In fact, it is best not to allow yourself to be recorded or to give specific information until you have contacted a car accident lawyer.
Giving a recorded statement may make it more difficult to give a more nuanced story of the accident later. Though insurance companies may claim that recordings are designed to help you, in actuality you are being recorded so that the insurance company can use those words against you in the future.
Document the Damage at the Crash Scene
You will want to document the damage yourself immediately after an accident. In the era of cell phones, this can be relatively easy to do. Just snap pictures of the vehicles and surrounding areas if you are able to do so. Having an accurate record of the damage can help your case tremendously.
If you have been in an accident with a large truck, documenting the damage can be particularly important. With photographs in hand, a Dallas truck accident lawyer can demonstrate the often catastrophic damage done by semi-trucks. This is especially useful because trucking companies can be backed by powerful insurance companies seeking to pay as little as possible.
The same can be true of bus accidents, in which a Dallas bus accident lawyer can have to go up against big insurance companies or even the city government if the vehicle is part of the public transportation system.
Who to Contact after an Accident in Dallas
Before getting into a car accident, you may want to learn some tips on how to avoid accidents in the first place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has information on risky driving habits, the use of seatbelts, safety ratings for various car brands, and more.
But if you have been in a car accident, your best option is to contact the Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, . They offer a FREE initial case evaluation to help you start your claim on the right foot. Simply fill out the form to the right of this page or call them at (214) 305-8277. They can help represent you to the insurance company so that you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long Do You Have After A Car Accident To File A Lawsuit In Texas?
- Who Is Legally Responsible If You’re Injured In A Dallas Bus Accident?
- How Do You Know If You Need To Hire A Dallas Car Accident Lawyer?
- What Can You Recover For A Wrongful Death From A Truck Accident In Texas?
- What If The Other Driver In A Texas Car Accident Is Uninsured?