The immediate aftermath and early days after a car accident are chaotic and distressing, especially if you or a family member suffered injuries. While you may just want to put the event behind you as soon as possible, it’s important to be wary when dealing with insurance company representatives after an accident. Despite their glossy ads and warm promises, insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. Profits depend on minimizing payouts while they maximize the payments they collect from policyholders.
It’s best to hire a McKinney car accident attorney before speaking to an insurance company representative about your accident and then direct all communications to them. But sometimes insurance adjusters reach out to accident victims soon after they report the accident, often in an effort to deny or undervalue a claim, even if they sound compassionate and friendly. It’s important to know what NOT to say to an insurer after an accident in Texas.
Do Not Admit Fault for the Accident
While most drivers know that they shouldn’t admit to fault after an accident, sometimes they unwittingly do so anyway. Some sadly common ways to unknowingly admit fault after an accident include saying:
- I’m sorry or I apologize
- I never saw them coming
- I didn’t see the sign
- I didn’t see you there
- I only looked away for a moment
- I couldn’t stop in time
- I’m not sure if the light was green or yellow
- I thought it was clear when I pulled out
All of these innocent statements can later be used against you to assign you a larger percentage of fault in an accident even if someone else’s negligence or recklessness on the road was really to blame for the accident.
Don’t Say, “I’m Fine”
It’s an automatic response when someone asks how you’re doing or how you’re feeling to simply reply, “I’m fine,” or “Better, thank you.” However, after an accident, saying “I am fine,” or “I’m better,” amounts to admitting you weren’t injured or that you’ve completely recovered from your injury, These simple, reflexive words could be used against your claim for personal injury compensation later.
“It’s Okay to Record Me.”
Often insurance company representatives will casually announce that you’re talking on a recorded line to get you to agree to the recording. Sadly, they may later take your words out of context to use against you, even if the representative sounded friendly and concerned during the phone call. If an insurance adjuster calls you on a recorded line, refer them to your lawyer.
“I’ll Accept Your Settlement Offer”
Be wary of insurance settlement offers that come very soon after an accident. Often these are undervalued or lowballed amounts and they will hinge upon your signing away your right to file a lawsuit. When an insurance company quickly calls with a settlement offer before you can possibly know the true extent of your damages they do not have your best interests at heart.
“Yes, You May Access My Medical Records”
Granting an insurance company full access to your medical records so they can ostensibly review your doctor’s notes on your injury can potentially damage your case. Some insurance adjusters use this access to scour through your entire medical history seeking a pre-existing condition or older injury to blame as the cause of your pain.
Protect Yourself Against Bad-Faith Insurance Company Tactics After a Texas Car Accident
Texas has a fault-based insurance system that uses comparative negligence to settle claims. It’s important to protect yourself against insurance companies that prioritize profits over paying out on a claim.
For more information, contact an attorney at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law. We offer free consultations.