Say This, Not That: Post-Accident Chats with a Florida Car Insurance Company
When you receive a phone call from the responsible driver’s insurance company just days after being injured in an auto collision, you’re probably thrilled to answer it. After all, the sooner you talk to the claims adjuster and provide important information, the faster you’ll receive payment.
The problem with this scenario is that the insurance adjuster isn’t contacting you to make arrangements for sending your check. Instead, this person is usually looking for reasons to deny your claim, and your words could provide the necessary justification. You should rely on your Florida car insurance lawyer to handle this first, very important phone call. A “Say This, Not That” approach may also be useful in protecting your rights.
“The investigation is ongoing.” NOT “I might be partly at fault.”
If you admit that your actions contributed to the accident, you can be sure the insurance adjuster will use this information to reject your claim – or at least reduce the amount the company is willing to pay.
“I’m still under my doctor’s care for my injuries.” NOT “I wasn’t hurt all that badly.”
Aside from details regarding fault, the claims adjuster also wants to learn the nature and severity of your injuries. By stating that your injuries are minor, you’re again giving the agent grounds to lower a potential offer to settle your claim. Also, depending on your injuries, you may not experience pain immediately after the collision so you may not understand the extent of your injuries right away.
“I don’t give permission for you to record me.” NOT “Sure, I’ll provide a recorded statement.”
Even worse than saying too much is stating it on a recording that the insurance company can use against you – both in resolving your claim and in court. Under Florida law, someone cannot record you without your permission, so politely decline. You may have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company though and your attorney can advise you on what interviews you should provide.
“I don’t want to discuss settlement at this time.” NOT “I’d like to consider a settlement offer.”
The insurance company’s strategy is to get you to agree to a settlement offer before you know the full extent of your losses. The claims adjuster knows that making an attractive offer, early, is likely to get your agreement. Unfortunately, the amount may not be fair and reasonable under the circumstances.
“You can deal directly with my car accident lawyer.” NOT “I don’t plan to hire an attorney.”
If you’ve made the smart decision to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after an auto crash, you should inform the claims adjuster at the start of the conversation. Even if you haven’t officially retained legal counsel, never tell the insurance adjuster that you have no intention of doing so. He or she may use this information to take advantage of your (presumed) lack of legal knowledge.
An Ocala, FL Car Insurance Attorney Can Take the Lead on Conversations
By retaining a skilled auto crash lawyer to discuss your claim with an insurer, you don’t have to be concerned with saying something that will adversely affect your rights. Our Ocala car insurance lawyers at Piccin & Glynn will tackle the tough conversations to make sure you get the monetary damages you deserve under Florida law. To set up your no-cost consultation, please call our office at (866) 225-6459 or fill out our online form.