Car accidents can be overwhelming experiences for victims, who often in shock and unsure of what to do next. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of bad or short-sighted decisions that could hurt their chances of securing compensation for damages.
For example, crash victims often talk to an insurance company before speaking to a lawyer. They are often unaware of how skilled the insurance companies are at manipulating crash victims into hurting the value of their claims. After ending this first conversation, victims may not realize how the things they said could be used against them.
Below, our experienced attorneys discuss the benefits of calling a Lafayette car accident lawyer before talking to the insurance company. We also explain how to be cautious when talking to an insurance company after an accident.
If you were injured in a crash that was not your fault, give us a call today. We may be able to help at no upfront cost.
Advantages of Talking to a Lawyer First
Car crash victims often do not realize the harm that can come from a conversation with an insurance company, even a short conversation. By talking to a lawyer first, victims can learn how to protect their claims if they do talk to the insurance company. You have the right to defend your interests throughout the legal process.
If the lawyer wants to take your case and you agree to have him or her represent you, he or she can talk to the insurance company on your behalf. Who knows better how to protect your interests than someone who handles these types of claims every day and whose goal it is to recover maximum compensation?
Warning You About Insurance Company Tactics
The lawyers at our firm know the tactics insurance companies use to attempt to lower the value of a claim or find a reason to deny a claim. They often ask leading questions and act like the victim’s friend to see if the victim will admit fault for the crash or downplay his or her injuries.
Insurance adjusters often sound so sure of themselves on the phone. They are trained to put the victim at ease. Often victims may relax and start discussing the crash in detail, without realizing how their statements could be used against them.
Insurance companies sometimes make quick settlement offers soon after the accident. In fact, an adjuster may come right to your door to make this offer or make it within hours of the crash. They know crash victims are unsure of the potential value of their claims and are often tempted to accept whatever the insurance company is offering. Despite what the insurance company may say, you should still be able to recover compensation after rejecting a lowball offer.
If you talk to a lawyer first, he or she can explain what to watch for if you do end up talking to the insurance company, including quick settlement offers. A lawyer can explain that the insurance company’s primary goal is to pay out as little compensation as possible.
Galloway Jefcoat, like many other personal injury firms, takes cases on contingency. That means we are not paid unless you get paid. We have the same goal as you, recovering maximum compensation to help you move forward after a devastating crash.
Another thing to remember is that conversations with an insurance adjuster will probably be recorded. Anything you say on a recording could be used by the insurance company to attack your credibility or cast doubt on the severity of your injuries. Once your statements are recorded, they can be used to limit the value of your claim.
Using Caution When Talking to the Insurance Company
You are under no obligation to talk to the insurance company when they call you. Victims can simply refer the insurance company to their attorney. You can obtain the insurance representative’s contact information and forward that to your attorney.
However, if you keep the conversation brief, you can avoid damaging your claim. Provide the basic details about the crash, as this helps the insurance company and does not hurt your claim. For example, tell the insurance company you were in a crash, you were injured, and your vehicle was damaged. Tell the insurance company you called the police and exchanged information with the other driver.
You do not need to share anything beyond that. The insurance company has what it needs to start investigating the crash.
You may be tempted to discuss your injuries, but there is no need for that. The insurance company can review your medical records to learn more. If you start discussing details about your injuries, the insurance company could use that information against you.
If you say something like “I’m OK,” or “I’m fine,” the insurance company may use those statements to claim you are not badly injured. If you speculate about how you were injured or the body parts that were damaged, you could later be proven wrong by your own medical records.
Despite what the insurance company says, it is not necessary for you to speculate on these things, especially when it is early in the process.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat for Legal Assistance
Do you need help after a car accident?
There are many benefits to working with an experienced lawyer as you consider your legal options and try to recover compensation for damages. At our firm, we take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees or legal obligations. Our firm does not get paid unless you get paid.
Learn more by calling today. Free consultation. (337) 984-8020