Don't Speak Up: It Could Jeopardize Your Case
If you have been in an auto accident, you may soon be receiving a phone call. This call will come from the other party's insurance adjuster. In the days following an accident, you may not be at your best, and this call can come as a surprise. Read on to learn how the timing and everything else about this call have been carefully calculated to catch you off guard.
What is the purpose of the call?
Ostensibly, the call is to gather information so that the insurance company for the at-fault driver can issue you a big check. The real reason is slightly more sinister, though. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay accident victims any more money than legally required; after all, they are in the business of making money. The recorded phone interview is the perfect way for these adjusters to go about creating doubt and prompting questions about liability.
What is liability and why does it matter?
Not all wrecks are black-and-white issues. Sometimes there are shades of gray about who is at fault for 100% of the wreck. If there is any chance that the liability (or blame) for the wreck can be shared between other drivers, it automatically reduces the amount the at-fault driver's insurance company will have to pay out. It works like this: if you grudgingly admit in your recorded phone call that you are not sure how fast your car was traveling when it entered the intersection where you were hit, you have just admitted to the possibility of sharing some of the liability for the wreck. This means that your monetary compensation could be reduced.
Are there other problems with participating in the recorded call?
Every time you speak about your accident experience, the details can change. Particularly when you are dealing with a traumatic event like an accident, your memories of the day and those afterwards can be sketchy and the details can come and go. This is perfectly natural, and eventually you will be able to put this bad experience behind you. But be very careful about what you say and to whom. The possibility that you might state things differently at various times is just one more reason for refusing to talk on the record about your accident. You are in no position to talk about this traumatic event, at least not at this time. And there is really no reason for you to do so. You are not required to speak to the other party's insurance adjuster, regardless of what he or she may tell you.
Get in touch with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible, and leave statements like this to the professionals.