After being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s likely that you’ll be contacted by an adjuster for the insurer of the person who caused the crash. He or she will want to ask you a few questions about the accident and your injuries and ask for your permission to record the call. The law doesn’t require you to give that individual any information at all. The adjuster already knows what happened. He or she has a copy of the police accident report and a statement from the insured person who caused the crash.
The Purpose of That Call
Then, why is that adjuster contacting you? The purpose of that call is to get you to contradict either yourself or the facts of the case so that the recording can be used against you in the future and cast doubt on your credibility. Never consent to give any type of a statement to the opposing insurance company without a skilled car accident lawyer at your side. If you’re told that you don’t need a lawyer for that purpose, you’re not being told the truth. Here are some of the things that the adjuster will want to discuss and trip you up on:
- Fault: Both you and the other driver gave your versions of events to the investigating officer, and those are contained in the police report. In getting a statement from you, the adjuster will be trying to get you to contradict what you said to the police officer in order to push off some of the faults for the accident over onto you. Then, the insurance company’s financial exposure will be reduced accordingly.
- The Nature and Extent of Your Injuries: It’s three days after the accident, and you still have considerable pain and discomfort. So far, you only had emergency room care and treatment on the day of the crash. X-rays were taken there, but those only showed fractures. You have an appointment with your personal physician tomorrow, and he’ll likely order additional tests. You don’t know what the nature and extent of your condition are, so don’t offer an opinion on it. A knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer can articulate that much better than you can when he or she is in possession of all the medical records related to the crash.
- Don’t Sign a Medical Authorization: The adjuster who is assigned to your claim may have already forwarded you a HIPAA medical authorization for signature and return in an enclosed stamped self-addressed envelope. Don’t sign it, and don’t return it. That adjuster is probably fishing for a prior injury to the same part of your body. His or her employer will want to use that against you and blame your current condition on an injury that you suffered 10 years ago.
The more information that you give an opposing insurer after being injured in an accident, the more control you’re giving over the outcome of the case. You need to preserve and protect your rights after being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, rather than relinquishing them. Don’t make mistakes that are going to hurt your case. By retaining an experienced and effective car accident lawyer as soon as possible after being injured in an accident, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at maximizing the settlement or award that you receive. Nearly all car accident lawyers offer free consultations and case evaluations. Arrange for one and retain a reputable and recognized car accident lawyer as soon as you can after your accident.