If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a car accident caused by another reckless or negligent driver, and you have started the claims process with that individual’s automobile insurance carrier, you can expect to be contacted by that company to obtain your statement regarding the accident. The reality is that providing a statement is not as easy of a task as it may seem on first blush. The fact is that oftentimes a person called upon to make this type of statement makes mistakes or says something that comes back to haunt that individual later in the claims settlement process.
When called upon to make a statement to another driver’s insurance company you need to keep a fundamental fact in mind. The other driver’s insurance company is not attempting to help you. The goal of the representative of the company is not to ensure that you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Indeed, the insurance company representative may actually tell you that is the whole point of the interview, the whole purpose behind taking a statement. But, it is not.
The other driver’s insurance company has two primary goals: To protect its own insured and to pay out the least amount of money possible in settling claims.
Pay particular attention to the manner in which you describe your injuries. You need to provide as much information as possible and do your best not to leave anything out. If you do unintentionally forget to mention, or thoroughly describe, a particular injury, an insurance company may use that against you in the future. The insurance company will maintain that they did not know about a particular injury, or of the extent of an injury, and attempt to deny compensation for that damage. In addition, if the claim goes to trial, the insurance company will attempt to use your statement against you during that court proceeding.
Prior to you making a statement to an insurance company, take the time to make a list of all of the injuries you believe you sustained, even the ones that you do not think are particularly serious. Keep in mind that following a car accident you may not actually know the full extent of your injuries.
Because of the potential problems associated with a statement made to an insurance company, if such an interview occurs within 14 days of an accident, it cannot be admitted into court. In addition, you do not have to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company following an accident. Again, you do not have to make a statement to the other driver’s insurance company!
Before you make a decision about making a statement to the other driver’s insurance company, seriously consider contacting the experienced accident attorneys at Harding & Associates. We will schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with you to discuss your case. An appointment can be scheduled at your convenience by calling us at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.