Don't Talk to the Insurance Company After A Car Accident
Unfortunately, we see this all the time. After a serious car accident in the Washington D.C. area, especially when you or someone in your family is in the hospital or recovering from surgery, the other driver's insurance company wants you to give an interview or recorded statement, or fill out some forms, or provide authorization for your medical information.
After 25 years of helping people hurt in car accidents, we recommend you don’t talk to the insurance company. Talk to an auto accident lawyer instead. Here's why:
The Insurance Company Will Use A Recorded Statement Against You.
Remember, their job is to deny or limit the amount they pay in damages after an accident occurred. In a serious car crash, they want to do that - and they know if they get started right away, before you have an experienced car accident attorney working for you, they have an advantage.
There is absolutely no requirement that you speak with the insurance company. What if you make a mistake or can't remember something because of your pain, medications you are on, or symptoms you are experiencing since the accident?
What if you're distracted by nurses and doctors coming in and out of your room and you forget to add a detail to how the accident happened? Or you forget to mention all of your injuries? Will they try to make it look like you were lying or hiding something, or say that some of your injuries were not caused by the accident?
That is the insurance company’s job - to limit or deny your claim.
There is no rush to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. In the District of Columbia, you have 3 years to file a lawsuit (Maryland is also 3 years and Virginia is 2).
So you have time to get the advice and counsel of a car and motorcycle accident attorney who can help you get started with your claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
What Will The Insurance Company Tell You to Get You to Talk to Them?
Remember, insurance claims adjusters and investigators for all of the major car accident insurance companies in the Washington, D.C. area - USAA, Geico, Travelers, Liberty Mutual and others - are experienced. They have handled hundreds, if not thousands, of car accident claims for the insurance company.
Insurance claims adjusters undergo training, attend seminars, and follow insurance company protocols and systems - all designed to settle car accident claims for less money than accident victims deserve.
Who do you think has the advantage?
They may tell you that they need this information, or that if they don't get it by a certain date, they will "close" your claim.
That sounds serious but it means absolutely nothing. That is just an internal term - in our car accident cases, we've had people come to us, worried about high medical bills and the effect of permanent injuries from an accident, who have had their claim "closed" by the insurance company.
Once our accident lawyers got involved, the insurance company opened the claim up again the next day.
The point is - you control this process (that's one of many things we do for the people we work with, our clients don't have to worry about this), not the insurance company.
As long as you are within the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against the other driver, you are ok. But don't take this to mean you should wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire before contacting the insurance company or trying to get an experienced car accident attorney - the best lawyers won't take cases that are close to the statute of limitations.
The best thing to do is to contact a car accident lawyer to talk about the specifics of your accident and injuries - especially if the other driver's insurance company wants to take your statement or if you feel pressure to speak to them.
Get The Best Car Accident Lawyer For Your Case in the Washington DC Area
Most people have never been in a serious crash and have not needed a D.C. car accident lawyer before. After a serious injury, most people are worried about their health, replacing their lost income, paying their medical bills and not getting taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Remember, this is a process. We want to be able to help you through every phase without having to worry about the insurance company or your case - we handle all of that so you can focus on your recovery and on getting better.
You've probably never been in a serious car accident before and had to worry about lost wages, liens, subrogation, and other complexities. You need a guide to take you through the process and help you stand up to the insurance company.
We can only help people with very serious injuries - that is who we focus on.
If you or someone in your family was hospitalized or needs surgery after an accident caused by another driver, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 to schedule a free consultation.
We'll get you started by talking with you and getting you all the information you need to make the best decision on your car accident case and how to take care of yourself and your family.