Here is a common question we often receive from clients here at Emroch & Kilduff: “Another car collided with mine. Now, the other driver’s insurance company wants a statement from me. Do I have to give it to them?”
This isn’t always an easy question to answer. Whether or not someone has an obligation to speak with another party’s insurance company can depend on the relationship to the other driver and to the insurer. For example, it’s not uncommon for both drivers in an accident to carry coverage from the same big national carrier like Geico or State Farm, which may affect the analysis.
Whatever the legal answer, however, we almost always urge our clients to exercise extreme caution when talking to the other driver’s insurance company. Better yet, we encourage them to speak with one of our experienced auto accident lawyers first. Here’s why.
Talk With Your Lawyer First
The principal reason to speak with a lawyer before giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company is to get an answer to the question above. Maybe you have an obligation to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it’s in your interest to speak with that insurance company. Maybe it’s not. A lawyer can help you puzzle through these considerations and decide what to do next.
A lawyer can also prepare you for any conversation with an insurance company, and may even handle the discussions with the insurer on your behalf. A lawyer, in other words, can serve as an effective buffer between you and an insurance adjuster who does not have your best interests at heart.
In Any Conversation, Avoid Admitting Fault or Discussing Injuries
You may wonder, “but what happens if I get caught off-guard by a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company?” That’s a legitimate concern. Here’s what we usually tell our clients:
- If you can, politely decline to speak with the insurance adjuster until you first speak with your attorney. Any reputable insurance company should be fine with this.
- If the adjuster continues trying to engage you in conversation about the accident, under no circumstances should you admit anything resembling fault, and you should never make casual statements about your physical or emotional condition such as “I’m okay,” or “I’m fine.” These are precisely the nuggets of “information” the insurance adjuster is trying to mine from you that could seriously damage your legal rights to compensation.
- Do not promise to deliver information, such as your own medical records, to the insurance company. Defer all requests for information until you have spoken with your lawyer.
Speak With Emroch & Kilduff About Your Accident
Before speaking with the other driver’s insurance company about your accident, protect your legal rights by speaking with an experienced auto accident attorney. Contact Emroch & Kilduff today at (804) 358-1568 to learn how we may help you negotiate with an insurance company and recover the maximum compensation you deserve.