Do I Have to Talk to the Other Drivers Insurance Adjuster? | Advice from a Lawyer
Car accidents can be life-changing, leaving victims with serious injuries. The last thing sufferers want to do is talk to the other driver's insurance company. However, knowing what the law has to say about the matter is crucial to ensure that victims aren't denied a claim.
Fortunately, claimants are not legally required to speak to the insurance adjuster from the other driver's insurance company, but the question now becomes whether they should engage with the insurer at all. This article will provide valuable advice to keep claimants from making poor decisions and maximize their chances of receiving insurance coverage.
To file a personal injury claim or obtain legal advice pertaining to insurance claims, victims can contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys and book a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. They can help advise on questions like What if the claims adjuster denies coverage for my injury?
What Should a Victim Do If the Other Driver's Insurance Company Requests to Speak to Them?
Drivers should not contact the other insurance company if they or any other person involved may file a claim. They must seek legal counsel promptly in this case. By speaking with them directly, a victim risks jeopardizing their case. That's because insurance adjusters are taught to push claimants to say the wrong things and use that against them.
The best thing a victim can do is to contact experienced personal injury attorneys. A lawyer will have many years of experience dealing with insurance companies and will ensure that their client is not taken advantage of.
As a general rule, a car accident victim should never talk to the other driver's insurer in the following circumstances:
Serious personal injuries, such as spinal injuries, broken bones, or severe nerve damage, resulted from the collision.
Several people were harmed in the accident.
Expensive medical treatments (to the value of $2,000 or more) may be required to address the injuries.
The insurer is being forceful.
There is a dispute over liability or a settlement offer.
The victim has had to miss work because of injuries sustained in the accident.
However, the truth is that every car accident case is different, with its own unique facts, so it's always best to speak to an attorney before cooperating with another insurance provider.
Is Speaking to the Other Driver's Insurance Adjuster Ever a Good Idea?
The truth is that if the other driver's insurance company calls a victim, it may be a good idea to talk to them in some cases. If it's clear that the other driver is to blame for the accident but refuses to speak with their own insurance company, the victim may need to speak with them.
That's because the insurance company may be unaware of what happened during the collision, as well as the amount that it may be liable for. In this case, if the victim does not contact the other driver's auto insurance company, they could miss out on a payout of their insurance claim.
In Most Cases, a Representative from the Claimant's Own Insurance Company Will Take Care of It
Suppose the other driver's insurance company contacts the claimant. In that case, a representative of their insurer can handle the communication. However, this does not always occur, particularly if the collision was not serious.
As a result, it may fall on the victim to communicate information about the accident. However, it's important for claimants to exercise extreme caution at all times when dealing with insurance companies. It's always best to consult a seasoned car accident lawyer for expert advice on how to proceed.
Claimants Should Never Allow an Insurance Company to Record Them
If a car accident victim decides to go ahead and speak with an insurance adjuster, they would almost always request a recorded statement. He or she will most likely be quite pleasant and may ask in such a way that the victim believes that it is the proper thing to do.
However, a recorded statement may substantially harm an insurance claim because everything they say can be used against them to invalidate their claim.
A Settlement Amount Should Never Be Agreed Upon Over the Phone
The truth is that insurance companies often pester claimants with phone calls to try to get them to accept low settlement offers. This is why it is important never to agree to a settlement amount over the phone before consulting a personal injury lawyer.
Injuries Should Never Be Discussed with the Other Driver's Insurance Company
After a motor vehicle collision, victims should never discuss their injuries with another driver's insurer. That's because certain injuries may not be apparent at first but manifest later on, and any statement made about these injuries can be used to refute the claim. This is often the reason why adjusters try to talk to victims as quickly as possible after an accident to try and catch them off guard.
Who Drivers Are Required to Speak to After a Car Accident
Although claimants are not legally required to talk to the other driver's car insurance company, there are certain people or entities that they are required to engage with in the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash.
Law Enforcement Officers
Law enforcement agents will likely be called to the scene of the accident. When they investigate the details of the case, it's important that all drivers cooperate. At the very least, victims will be asked to supply the following information:
Drivers will also have to provide police officers with more information about the accident. Their questions must be answered unless the driver faces criminal charges.
Other Drivers Involved in the Accident
The state's traffic rules will most likely compel victims to remain at the scene and share critical information with others involved. Even so, it is important that they keep conversation to a minimum and watch what is said, as this can be used against them later on.
The Victim's Own Car Insurance Company
When a driver is involved in a collision that may result in coverage under their auto insurance policy, the agreement made with the insurance company will probably compel them to let the insurer know when such an event occurs. There is often a time limit given for this, so drivers must ensure that they comply with the terms of the contract. Failure to do so could result in penalties and a denial of any claim.
A Driver's Own Insurance Company May Not Always Be on Their Side
Although Ohio is an at-fault state, which means the insurance company of the responsible driver will be liable for paying the damages following a car accident, victims should never trust their own insurer.
Insurance companies are businesses, so their goal is to make the highest possible profit. This means that the insurer will be working in its own best interest and not in its client's. It may try to lower the settlement amount, which can affect the amount of compensation a victim receives.
However, a car accident lawyer always works in the best interest of their clients, so they can rest assured that there is someone on their side who will offer sound advice and ensure that they are not taken advantage of by the other driver's insurance company or their own.
Next Steps After a Car Accident
Working with insurance companies to work out a claim directly is no easy task. As mentioned previously, insurers work in their own best interests, so it's important for victims to ensure that their rights are protected. If an insurance company refuses to pay a valid insurance claim or acts in bad faith, the victim can take legal action against them.
In such cases, the insurance company will have to pay the amount due to the claimant in addition to a penalty for acting in bad faith. Moreover, if a claimant is required to speak with an insurance company, it's important for him or her to consult a lawyer or ask the legal representative to speak to the car insurance company on their behalf to reduce the risk of revealing any information that could jeopardize the case.
Pursuing Legal Assistance from an Experienced After a Car Accident
After a collision with another vehicle, the most appropriate course of action for victims is to cooperate with their own insurance provider and to be extremely cautious while dealing with the other driver's adjuster. When car accident injuries are severe, and things become contentious, it may be worthwhile to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
An attorney can advise victims on when (and if) it is appropriate to contact the other driver's insurer. What's more, a lawyer will never leave the claimant to deal with the insurance company on their own but will do the talking, ensuring that their client's rights are protected at all times.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are experienced legal experts with many years of experience. They will stop at nothing to ensure that those harmed because of the negligence of others receive the compensation that they are rightly due.
To schedule a free consultation with a seasoned car accident attorney, victims can contact the firm.