How to Talk with an Auto Insurance Company After a Car Accident

Are you getting calls from the insurance company? Below is some advice for you.

Key Points

  • When speaking to your insurance company or the other driver’s, keep your answers short and simple, avoiding too much detail about your accident or injuries.
  • The more information you provide to an insurance representative, the greater the risk of saying something that could jeopardize your claim and reduce your compensation.
  • The other driver’s insurance company is not on your side. Their representative’s job is to help their company pay as little as possible for claims.
  • When you hire a car accident lawyer, they can speak to the insurance companies on your behalf.

Communicating with Insurance Companies After a Car Accident

After a car accident, effective communication is crucial. Knowing what to say (and what not to say) to an insurance agent can greatly impact the settlement amount you receive. Unfortunately, this skill isn’t something you learn in school.

Both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer will contact you with many questions. How you answer these questions can significantly affect your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries. By mastering these communication skills, you can strengthen your case and improve your chances of a successful settlement.

Who to Call After a Car Accident

After a car accident, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your legal rights and secure your compensation. Here’s who you should contact:

Personal Injury Attorney

Insurance companies are skilled at making accident victims feel comfortable, which can lead to saying something that might jeopardize your claim. To protect your interests, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer should be your top priority. Once you have an attorney, the insurance company will communicate through them, ensuring your rights are protected and helping you recover the compensation you deserve.

Your Car Insurance Carrier

You or your attorney need to contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible. Contrary to a common myth, you must report the accident to your insurer even if it wasn’t your fault. Failing to do so can prevent you from receiving compensation for collision coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and other benefits.

When you talk to your insurance company, provide only the basic details such as time, date, and location of the accident. Avoid discussing who was at fault until you’ve spoken with your attorney. Also, hold off on giving a recorded statement until you’ve consulted your lawyer.

Who Not to Call After a Car Accident

Avoid contacting the other driver’s insurance company. There’s no benefit in doing so, and it might harm your chances of receiving compensation. Let them reach out to you instead.

Should You Speak with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?

Generally, we advise against giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company before consulting with us. If you seek a personal injury claim, limit your communication to describing how the accident happened and the damage to your vehicle. Avoid discussing any other details until you have legal representation.

Who Contacts You After a Car Accident

It’s crucial to know who will likely contact you after a car accident.

The Other Driver’s Insurance Company

After an accident, expect a call from the other driver’s auto insurance company. Be cautious when speaking with them; their goal is to pay as little as possible. The more you talk, the greater the chance you might say something they can use against you during settlement.

Your Own Insurance Company

You’ll also receive calls from your own insurance company after you report the accident. Even though it’s your insurer, be careful. Provide only the necessary details and avoid giving any extra information. Stick to the general facts and answer only what is asked.

Will an Auto Insurance Company Seek to Find any Negligence?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Atlanta, determining who was at fault is crucial. This will impact the amount of compensation you can receive.

Georgia uses a “modified comparative fault” standard. This means you can only recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you cannot receive any compensation.

For example, if Janice is texting while driving and drifts into another lane, causing an accident with Tim, who was speeding and didn’t check his mirrors, both may share fault. However, if Janice is found to be more than 49% at fault due to texting, she cannot recover any compensation for her injuries.

When you seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance, their representatives will try to pin the blame on you. If you are deemed 50% or more at fault, you won’t receive any compensation.

Insurance companies know Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule well. Their representatives will ask questions to make you admit to any negligence. Be careful about what you say, as any hint of negligence can be used against you.

What Do You Do When the Other Drivers Auto Insurance Company Calls?

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company will eventually call. What you say to them can significantly impact your claim.

Keep these tips in mind when contacted by the other driver’s insurance company:

  1. You are not legally required to talk to them.
    • You don’t have to speak to the other driver’s insurance representatives if you’re not comfortable. Let the calls go to voicemail if needed, and you aren’t required to return them.
  2. Avoid giving a written or recorded statement.
    • The insurance company will likely ask for a written or recorded statement. Avoid providing one, as it can be used against you. They are hoping you will say something that might jeopardize your claim.
  3. Refer them to your attorney.
    • If you have an attorney, direct the insurance company to contact them. Your lawyer’s job is to protect your interests, and dealing with the insurance company is part of that. This can also help your claim, as insurance companies are more likely to offer a reasonable settlement when they know you have legal representation.
  4. Give minimal information.
    • Limit your answers to “yes” or “no” and provide only the bare minimum needed to answer the question. The less you say, the less chance you have of jeopardizing your claim.
  5. Avoid admitting any mistakes or fault.
    • Never admit to any mistakes or fault. Georgia law bars recovery for anyone who is 50% or more at fault, so the insurance company will try to shift blame to avoid paying out.
  6. Limit details about your injuries.
    • Keep the details of your injuries and recovery process to a minimum. Insurance representatives will look for information to downplay the severity of your injuries.
  7. Document the call.
    • Keep a journal of all calls from any insurance company. Note the time, the representative’s name, and a summary of the conversation, including questions asked and your responses.

By following these tips, you can better protect your rights and maximize your compensation after a car accident.

When to Trust Speaking with Your Auto Insurance Company

After a car accident, it’s natural to think your own auto insurance company is on your side since you are their client. However, you need to be as cautious with your own insurance carrier as you would with another driver’s insurance company.

Be cautious about sharing information with your insurance company if:

  • The at-fault driver is insured by the same company. A big win for you is a big loss for them, so they may not be entirely on your side.
  • You are seeking compensation from your own insurance company. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to rely on your own insurance for compensation. Remember, the insurance company is still a business, and paying out claims affects their bottom line.

Always be careful when speaking with your insurance company to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Why It’s Ideal to Have Our Car Accident Lawyer Talk with the Insurance Company

The best step to protect your legal rights after a car accident is to contact a personal injury attorney for assistance with your claim.

While auto insurance companies are responsible for compensating those injured in accidents, it’s important to remember that their primary goal is to protect their bottom line. Unfortunately, the easiest way for them to save money is by reducing the compensation paid to injured drivers.

These companies are well-oiled machines, and their lawyers employ various strategies to protect the insurance companies’ wallets and minimize the compensation they must pay.

Common Questions About Talking to an Auto Insurance Company After an Accident

Can a car accident lawyer take over the communication with insurance companies after an accident?

When you’re trying to recover from a car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be exhausting. Part of an attorney’s job is to take the weight of negotiating with the insurance companies off your shoulders and deal with them on your behalf.

Should I take calls from the other insurance company’s adjuster?

When someone is involved in an auto accident and suffers serious injuries, they may start receiving calls from the other driver’s insurance adjuster within days or even hours. These adjusters are responsible for assessing your damages to create a settlement offer. Remember, they work for the insurance company and are not on your side. You are not obligated to speak with them if you feel uncomfortable. If you have a personal injury lawyer, let your attorney handle all calls from insurance adjusters.

If I’m confident I’m not at fault, should I open up to the other driver’s insurance company?

Oftentimes, determining who was at fault for a car accident is pretty black and white. Even though it’s tempting to reaffirm to the insurance company that the other driver was at fault, it’s best to keep all discussions of who caused the accident to a minimum.

What can happen if I give an insurance company too much information about my car accident?

After a car accident, a larger settlement for you means less profit for the insurance company. Insurance representatives look for ways to reduce your compensation. The more information you provide about the accident and your injuries, the more they can use against you. Saying the wrong thing in a written or recorded statement can reduce or even eliminate your compensation.

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