If you’ve filed a personal injury claim after a car accident, then you can expect to be contacted by the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The adjusters will want to learn what happens and use any information they get to reduce the amount the company has to spend on your claim.
Insurance companies have different strategies for minimizing their losses, and they will often rely on contradictory or interpretable statements from your part. Here are ten things you shouldn’t say to an insurance company representative:
“I Don’t Know, Maybe.”
When you are not sure about something, it’s best to give a firm “I don’t know” or to redirect them to your own insurance company or St. Louis car accident attorney. Giving statements that display unsureness, like “maybe” or “probably” can be used against you. Don’t assume what you don’t know.
Responding in a Positive Way to Leading Statements like “I’m Glad You’re Feeling Better”
While it might only seem like a polite and considerate thing to say, insurance representatives might try to take advantage of your statement when they tell you “I’m glad you’re feeling better” or “You’re lucky it wasn’t worse than this”.
Admitting to Contributory Negligence
Even if you do think that you may have contributed to the accident, don’t admit fault when talking to the insurance company representatives.
“He Appeared Out of Nowhere.”
When relating the incident, use concise, neutral statements and avoid expressions that can imply you weren’t paying enough attention to the road or were distracted in any way, as it can be used to prove you were also at fault.
“I Believe That…”/”I Think That…”
Again, assuming something happened or trying to give your own interpretation of the facts is not recommended. Only give statements that are already checked as facts and don’t offer your own interpretation of the events.
“I Agree That…”
One of the most common strategies used by insurance companies is to get you to agree on a number of things, like giving a recorded statement, agreeing with their own version of what happened (which will be worded carefully) or giving them the right to record you or access your medical or professional information. Don’t sign any release form and avoid verbal agreements.
Such a statement can be interpreted as an admission of liability, so avoid using it when talking to the insurance adjusters.
“I’m Not Hurt.”
Especially when talking to an insurance company representative soon after the accident, avoid giving out final statements about your health. Many times, the victim finds out that the extent of their injuries is greater than they initially thought. Stating that you are not hurt can damage your insurance claim if you discover hidden injuries or get complications from existing ones.
“This Is My Official Statement.”
A verbal conversation with the insurance company should not be “your official statement.” Only rely on written records and expert opinions when relating the accident or its repercussions.
Remember, keep your statement concise and neutral, leaving out your personal feelings about it. Feelings can be overwhelming during this time and might get you to say something you will later regret.
These are the most common examples of things you could say to an insurance company representative and hurt your personal injury claim. Our best advice is to speak with an experienced St. Louis car injury attorney before giving any statement and allow them to deal with the insurers.