After an accident, there are two rules in dealing with insurance companies. First – Don’t give a statement to the insurance company. Second – DON’T GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY.
That is a variation on an old Mel Brooks joke, but it is true … don’t talk to the other guy’s insurance company, at least until you talk to a lawyer.
I have said this before, but the insurance companies are not your friends when you are involved in a traffic accident. Your friendly agent (the one who takes your premiums and sends you calendars) is not the person who decides how much money you get.
Generally, you are not under any obligation to give a statement about what happened. Some insurance plans require you to speak with your own insurance carrier, but I highly recommend that you let your lawyer negotiate that.
Mostly it is the insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver who wants your statement. Here is what I say, “I will let you record a statement from my client when I can record a statement from your client.” I have never had an adjuster take me up on that offer. This alone indicates that giving a statement is a bad idea.
Adjusters have a script that can lead you into saying things you do not mean. Here are some sample questions — Do you ever speed? Can you be 100% certain you were not speeding? How many speeding tickets have you had in your lifetime? Has anyone ever told you to slow down? Put this all together, and you can come off as a liar, stupid, and/or reckless. None of which will help your case.
What is the first rule of dealing with an insurance company? Right. So my recommendation is don’t.
If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are mostly working remotely but are always available.
Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.