The aftermath of a car accident can feel chaotic and overwhelming. Even minor fender benders can feel traumatic, depending on the circumstances. And if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, it can be especially difficult to know how to proceed.
Of course, the first thing that needs to be done immediately following an accident is ensuring that you’ve removed yourself from harm’s way and sought medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should always be examined by a medical professional. Often injuries from a car accident are not felt immediately following the accident, so it’s important to not assume that you are unharmed merely because you feel fine.
Soon after that, however, you will need to speak to your insurance company. You may also be contacted by the other vehicle’s insurance. Under the best of circumstances, most people consider talking to insurance as a necessary but unpleasant task. After an accident, however, the stakes can be high. If you say the wrong thing, it can impact how responsibility – and liability – for the accident is determined.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when talking to insurance after a car accident:
#1. Do Not Admit Fault.
When you speak to insurance, give a candid and straightforward account of the accident. Even if you are concerned that you may have been at fault, do not admit fault. Do not apologize or say anything that could be construed as accepting responsibility for the accident.
The reality is that it is not up to you to decide fault in this situation. There may have been extenuating circumstances of which you are totally ignorant – traffic conditions, signage, something happening in the other vehicle – that could have influenced what happened. For this reason, you should also avoid blaming the other driver for the accident.
Instead, provide the facts and avoid offering your opinion about who is to blame.
#2. File a Police Report.
Insurance companies will often rely on an officially documented police report for confirmation of the accident, which will be considered an unbiased source. A police report can strengthen your case, whether you are seeking compensation for injuries or property damage. If police didn’t arrive at the scene of the accident, you can still go to the local police station to file a report afterward. Be sure to get a copy of the report. You can also request that a report be sent to your insurance provider.
#3. Hire a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney.
It is important to remember that it is in the best interests of the insurance company to settle for as little as possible. However, what is in the insurance company’s best insurance is likely not what is in your best interest. By hiring an experienced car accident lawyer, you will have someone in your corner working to help protect your rights.
At Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini P.C., our team is committed to helping our clients recover from an accident – emotionally, physically, and financially. We know the toll that an accident can take, and we are prepared to advocate for you with the insurance companies so you don’t have to deal with the stress and anxiety of complex insurance negotiations.
Contact us online or call us at (203) 583-8299 to schedule a free consultation.