3 Things NOT To Do After An Accident
We have posted in the past about insurance bad faith. While we certainly don’t mean to suggest that every insurance carrier is inherently evil, we want all injured individuals to take a moment to protect themselves.
Insurance policies can be complex and it is easy for policy-holders to get turned around – ultimately, doing themselves more harm than good. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we have seen numerous cases where injured people only try to follow (what they think are) the rules only to damage their cases. Here are three things that people should certainly not do unless they have a clear understanding of the consequences – or they have a skilled lawyer on their side.
- Don’t talk to an insurance adjuster: From the moment you make your claim, these people have a dual purpose. They are both on your side and the side of the insurance company. They want to help you proceed through the process while – at the same time – protecting the company’s bottom line. Even a simple statement on your part, though, can dramatically impact your claim. Make sure these communications are controlled by your attorney.
- Don’t provide a recorded statement: Your insurance adjuster might suggest – or demand – that your statement of events is recorded. It is critical to remember that there is no law that compels you to do so. In all likelihood, you are flustered, frightened and possibly seriously injured after your accident. By working with your lawyer, you can schedule a time to discuss your accident with the insurance company when you are ready.
- Don’t sign any documents: Most often an insurance adjuster will ask you to sign documentation allowing them access to your medical records. Unfortunately, this can ultimately damage your claim. We’re not saying they will – but an adjuster can potentially dig into your medical history in an effort to blame your current pain on a past injury. Your lawyer will carefully examine any documents given to you and provide clear guidance on what should – and what should not – be signed.
Not all insurance companies are bad – and not all insurance adjusters are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. It is wise, though, when your financial future is at stake, that you take steps to protect yourself and your family.