When you’ve been in an accident, you are no doubt shaken by the experience and reeling from the adrenaline – and you may even be injured and in pain. What you say to your insurance company after an accident could potentially have an impact on whether or not you will receive fair compensation for your injuries and damage. Tampa personal injury attorney John Castro at Anton Castro Law recommends that you always exercise caution when talking to the insurance company after you’ve been in an accident, and that you follow these tips when speaking with them:
Take Your Time:
First and foremost, take care of yourself! Your medical needs and wellbeing take precedence over trying to immediately contact your insurance company. You may believe you are completely okay after the accident and then realize hours later once the adrenaline and shock wears off that you need to be checked by a doctor. Give yourself time for your adrenaline to stop pumping. Relax and allow yourself to recognize any pain or potential injuries that you may have not felt immediately.
Taking time after your accident before speaking with your insurance company also allows you to maintain a clear head and protect your legal interests. If you suspect you have any injuries due to your accident, contact a personal injury attorney immediately so they can help you navigate communication with your insurance company.
Remain Calm and Polite:
It is natural to feel angry or frustrated after an accident. Try your best to remain calm and polite with the insurance adjuster over the phone. Many times, the goodwill between you and the person you are speaking with can benefit your overall experience with your claim. Again, if necessary, take some time to calm down and clear your head before any communication happens.
Decline to be recorded verbally:
You may notice the insurance adjuster will casually ask to record the initial conversation. You have the right to decline being recorded. Explain that you will provide a written statement at a later time. This way you are not bound to details you may have mistakenly communicated during the initial verbal conversation. A strategic, written statement delivered at a later time will ensure that you provide the exact information you would like considered in your claim.
Identify and note the person you speak with and take notes of your conversation. Keep a record of who you speak with, the details of the conversation, the date and time.
Only speak the facts you know:
Sometimes all of the details are difficult to recall. You may have a slightly different interpretation of the accident than others involved in it, and in the commotion of an accident, some details can be more difficult to accurately recall. Stick to only the facts that you definitively know such as the date, time, location, and your property type (i.e. type of car).
Avoid Certain Words and Phrases:
Don’t assume blame by saying you’re sorry or faulting yourself. Very rarely is the fault only one-sided and you will have a hard time retracting your statement of fault at a later time. Also, when discussing your physical state or any injuries, avoid saying “I’m fine” or “I feel fine.” You may feel okay right after the accident when your adrenaline is still high, but later realize you are actually in pain or injured. Some injuries may take time to set in and it’s always best to reserve statements regarding your injuries until after you’ve given yourself some time after the accident, and have spoken to an injury attorney.
If you’ve been in an accident, your first priority should be your own health and safety. If you believe you could have some injuries as a result of the accident, call Tampa accident and personal injury attorney John Castro immediately before you give any statements to the insurance company. 813.907.9807. The consultation is always free and an attorney can be reached any time, day or night, to represent your best interests.