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5 Things NOT to Say to an Insurance Company After a Car Accident

In the latest figures available from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, there were 6.26 road fatalities per 100,000 residents in the Golden State in 2014. Similarly, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, annual statewide traffic deaths stood at 3,000 during 2013. In the county of Los Angeles, the California Office of Traffic Safety recorded a total of 29,032 car crash deaths and injuries during 2013. Of those, 2,381 involved a drunk driver, 1,234 involved motorcycles, 2,340 involved bicycles, and 2,863 involved pedestrians.

Such figures amply demonstrate Los Angeles County is a dangerous place to be on the road. With so many auto collisions occurring, it's possible you will be involved in one yourself, and if you are, you should know what to do. Moreover, what not to say to an insurance company.

What to Do After an Auto Accident

It's important to be prepared before you get out on the road.

If you are in an auto, you should keep a first aid kit ready-to-go, warning triangles or road flares, and a pen and notepad in your glove box. Additionally, you should carry a pre-printed card with your and your family's medical information in your wallet and/or glove box. If you are involved in an accident, you will likely be shaken and your adrenaline will be pumping so it's easy to forget simple things and a list "Things to Do in an Accident" could be very useful. It's a good idea to keep a list of in your glove box next to your registration, insurance and medical information.

Everyone knows, or should know, that you should never lie to your insurance company -- that would be fraud. But what you say and what you do does matter. Moreover, it could mean the difference between how much of, say, an automobile accident, is covered and what impact it will have on your premium. --Market Watch

It's human nature to apologize and possibly explain what happened and even admit at least partial fault. However, you should do your very best to stick to gathering & providing factual information. Anything you say could be used against you at a later time.

5 Things Not to Say to an Insurance Company After an Accident

When you are involved in an auto collision or other type of accident, you'll probably need financial assistance for your medical needs and vehicle repairs. For a majority of people, this means having to deal with insurances companies. Unfortunately, even your own insurer will not be much assistance. Dealing with an insurance agency after a car accident can be very confusing. Needless to say, insurers attempt to limit payout amounts to as little as possible. You can easily make things go from bad to worse, if you unknowingly say the wrong thing. Here are five things not to say to an insurance company after an accident:

  1. "I believe," or "I guess." You'll be asked many questions by the insurance company. It should come as no surprise the answers are intended to limit their exposure (read: payout). So, if you are asked how fast you were driving or precisely how far away the other vehicle was, do not guess. Your supposition or guess will be used against you, if possible.
  2. "It might be my fault," or "I shouldn't have." When you apologize or imply that you acted inappropriately, you are taking a very big and unnecessary risk. Even if you believe or are at fault, don't admit it. After all, you really don't know the extent of the other driver's fault. Do not say you're sorry or try to explain your way out of the situation with the insurance company, the police on the scene, or, the other driver.
  3. "I don't have any injuries," or "I'm fine." While you might not feel any pain or see any injuries at that very moment, some injuries take time to manifest. The truth of the matter is you don't know what you will feel like in 5 hours, 5 days or 5 months. You could well have an injury that does not present itself until a day or more later.
  4. "I'm willing to accept a fair offer." It's unfortunate, but the insurer isn't on your side and the first claim will likely be a low-ball offer. The insurance company will try to pay as little money as possible and will close the case as quickly as it can. Remember, insurance companies are big business and there to make money, not to pay it out. Ultimately, they are only on their own side.
  5. "No, I don't have an attorney." If you say this, it's an open invitation to take advantage of you. Instead, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury car accident attorney to learn about your rights.

If you have been involved in an collision such as auto v. auto, auto v. bicycle, auto v. pedestrian, call Vititoe Law Group for assistance. We provide experienced and compassionate legal assistance and will help you through the trauma of an accident.

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