If you’ve ever had a car accident, the first things come first. Are you alright Are the other parties all right? If you are still in the vehicle, is the vehicle in a safe place? Depending on the nature of the accident and how you feel, you may be thinking, how much will it cost me? You may be minding your own business and driving on I-35 if someone leaves you or steals your car. Perhaps you’re driving on Crowley Road near Edgecliff Village if someone walks out of the Sycamore School Road driveway, doesn’t look, let alone gives way, and hits you.
If you’ve had an accident like this, you’ll know the emotions racing through your brain: from anger to fear back to anger.
Your mind will try to play all sorts of tricks on you to make you feel responsible for what happened. That is your instinct for survival. When you find yourself in a life or death stressful situation, you can think of scenarios where you may have slowed down and put on the brakes faster, even if there is nothing you can do to change what just happened. You need to combat this tendency, to think rationally, for the good of all concerned, including yourself and those who are closest to you.
The first and most important thing you can do is stay calm. Make sure everyone is fine and that help is on the way.
In stressful situations, having a plan in mind and knowing what to say and what not to say is helpful if you ever have an accident. Those first few minutes can make a huge difference in the future.
The car accident attorneys at the Patterson Law Group office in Forth Worth can help. We can even meet your insurance claim for you. Call our legal team at 817-784-2000 today for a free consultation.
10 things not to say to an insurance company after a car accident
1. Everything at all (immediately). In the event of an accident, you may need to speak to a police officer and health care professional immediately. You don’t have to speak to your insurance company right away. Make sure everyone is safe first. To breathe.
2. The accident was (partly) your fault. Let other people base their judgments on the facts.
3. The accident was someone else’s fault (or the fault of the weather or road conditions).
4. Any factual assertion or opinion that goes beyond what you have personally seen.
5. Never edit what happened. You can say, “The other driver’s car turned into my lane and hit my car on the left.” Don’t try to guess if the other driver seemed drunk. Never think about how you could have avoided the collision.
6. Any information that you are not sure about. An accident investigator can determine what actually happened, and inaccurate information can later be used against you, even if it is not your fault.
7. All information that is not directly related to the accident. Your insurance agent is not your friend. Anything you tell them can be used against you later. This is not the time to talk about your driving habits, your pets, or anything unrelated to the accident.
8. Any information related to your health or the health of others. You cannot be sure whether or how someone has been injured.
9. Information about damage to your car. Likewise, you may not be immediately informed of any damage to your car.
10. All information without first speaking to a lawyer. This is not a complete or comprehensive list. We strongly encourage you to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Ready to file a lawsuit but afraid of saying the wrong thing? Forth Worth auto accident attorneys at Patterson Law Group can handle your insurance claim for you. Call our legal team at 817-784-2000 today for a free consultation.
You shouldn’t speak to the other insurance company after an accident
Never speak to the other party’s insurer unless instructed to do so by a lawyer. After an accident, you may need to speak to your own insurance company to make a claim. (Unless you have a lawyer to do it for you!) The conversation should be short and to the point. Unless you both have the same insurer, there is no need to speak to the other person’s insurance company. Your insurer can talk to their insurer, and their insurer can talk to professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and police officers.
What to do if the driver does not contact the insurance company if there is a mistake?
It is your job to file a claim with your insurance company. It is up to the other driver to file a lawsuit with their company. If for any reason they refuse, it may make it difficult to resolve your claim. The other party can hope that all of this will go away, but it won’t. If the guilty party refuses to accept responsibility, seek legal counsel.
Talking to insurance companies can affect your billing
Talking to an insurance company, including your own, can affect your billing. You may think your insurance company is on your side while the other driver’s insurance is on their side, but it just isn’t. Here’s why. First, there are two different types of coverage that may be involved: the debtor’s liability insurance and your own uninsured / underinsured insurance. If your damage is greater than the liability limits of the culpable party’s insurance limits, you may need to make an underinsured claim with your own insurance company. In that case, everything you have said to your own insurance company can and will be used against you by your own insurance company. Make no mistake, your own insurance company will do everything possible to limit the amount of money they may have to pay you for your damage. Insurers are a profitable company and you will get the same amount of insurance premiums in both cases.
Here is what a Fort Worth personal injury attorney can do for your car accident
If you’ve had a car accident, the cost can be high. Patterson Law Group knows Texas insurance law and Fort Worth regulations by heart. Before speaking to your insurance agent, before accepting a settlement, find a lawyer who you know will be on your side. We stand