Navigating a personal injury claim can be intimidating, especially if you are going through it for the first time. One challenging aspect of filing a claim after an accident is responding to calls from auto insurance companies.
In Indiana, insurance companies often contact claimants soon after an injury claim is filed as part of their investigation. The call can feel unnerving, and you may want guidance on what to say or how much information to share.
How you handle these initial conversations can impact the progress and outcome of your claim. Understanding your rights and responsibilities during a call with an insurer is crucial to protecting your interests and helping you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
What to Do if You Don’t Have an Attorney
When the insurance company calls after an accident, and you haven’t yet secured legal representation, approach the conversation cautiously. While being truthful in your responses is essential, remember to provide only the minimum information necessary.
Insurance adjusters are skilled at asking probing questions to gather as much information as possible. This information may be used to devalue or even deny your claim. Be brief and factual in your responses and don’t volunteer additional information unless it is directly requested.
Avoid discussing your injuries or medical condition in detail. Instead, simply state that you are receiving treatment but don’t disclose specifics. Do not make assumptions or guesses about your injuries or their potential long-term impact, and maintain similar brevity regarding questions about pre-existing conditions, if you have any.
Never agree to give a recorded statement without consulting a lawyer. While this might seem like a simple administrative procedure, it could be used against you in ways that may harm your claim.
What to Do if You are Working with a Lawyer
If you’re working with an attorney, direct all calls from insurance companies to your lawyer. This is not about evading questions but ensuring that you are adequately represented, and your rights are protected. Insurance adjusters understand this, and it’s a standard procedure.
Your attorney knows the nuances of the law and how insurance companies operate. They are experienced in handling these calls and will provide the necessary information without jeopardizing your claim. This allows you to focus on your recovery and lessens the burden of dealing with the claim on your own.
Why it’s Essential to Avoid Speaking with Insurers on Your Own
Dealing with insurers without legal representation is risky. Insurance adjusters are professionals who are prepared to protect their company’s financial interests as their number one priority. This can often mean minimizing payouts.
Insurance laws and regulations can be complex, and understanding them is often difficult even for lawyers who don’t specialize in car accident cases. Without experience navigating these laws, you may misinterpret something or inadvertently make a statement that could be used against you.
It’s also difficult to quantify the value of your claim accurately without understanding the full scope of your injuries and their long-term effects. A seasoned personal injury attorney can ensure your claim fully accounts for all past and future expenses related to your injury, including medical costs, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Example Questions Insurance Adjusters May Ask
Insurance adjusters are trained to gather information and evaluate claims. While they may ask seemingly irrelevant or innocuous questions, be wary. They could make inquiries that may negatively impact your claim, depending on your response. Questions to look out for include:
- “Are you sure you were not at fault for the accident?”
This question attempts to make you question your own account of the accident and potentially admit fault. Stick to the facts and provide a clear description of what happened based on your recollection and available evidence.
- “Can you explain why you didn’t seek immediate medical attention after the accident?”
This question implies that you delayed medical attention because your injuries are less severe than you claim. Explain any legitimate reasons for delayed medical treatment and provide a clear timeline of when you received medical care.
- “Are you aware that your pre-existing condition could have contributed to your current injuries?”
This question suggests that your injuries may be partially or entirely due to a pre-existing condition rather than the accident. While pre-existing conditions can affect claims, provide an accurate account of how the accident exacerbated or worsened your condition.
- “Have you participated in any physical activities or sports since the accident?”
This question aims to gather information about your post-accident activities and determine if your injuries are hindering your physical abilities. Provide an honest account of your limitations and any activities that may have worsened your injuries.
- “Can you explain why your social media posts show you engaging in physical activities or having fun?”
This question suggests that your social media activity contradicts your claims of being injured or experiencing pain. Be mindful of the information you share on social media during the claims process; insurance adjusters may use it to challenge your assertions. Explain any misconceptions or provide context for your posts if necessary.
The best approach is to answer these questions honestly and provide accurate information. If you have concerns or feel overwhelmed during the claims process, consult an Indianapolis car crash lawyer from Wagner Reese to protect your rights and interests.
Take the Next Step Towards Protecting Your Rights
If you’ve filed a personal injury claim or are considering doing so, remember that professional legal help is available. Our Indiana-based firm is committed to ensuring your rights are protected, your questions answered, and your interests served.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. With our help, you can focus on recovery and let us handle insurance negotiations to help you receive the settlement you deserve.