Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about talking to the other insurance company after an accident.
You Don’t Have to Speak to the Other Insurance Company
Strictly speaking, you do not have to respond to the other driver’s insurance company. However, there are situations where you may want to talk to the other insurance company.
Be careful with what you say while talking to the other insurance company. Something simple – like saying it was a sunny day at the time of the accident – could jeopardize the insurance claim. Some people recommend calling a lawyer before you start talking to the other insurance company.
Why Would the Other Insurance Company Contact You?
Generally, the insurance company will contact you after an accident because they’re worried about you making a claim. The insurance company wants to avoid having to pay you money.
The insurance company will also call because they want information from you. This information will be used to establish two main things related to a potential claim:
- How did your injury happen?
- Is there any other information that will limit the amount of money the car insurance company will need to pay?
The insurance company wants to discover information that will help them deny your claim or limit the amount they have to pay. Even in cases where the other driver seems to be 100% at fault, there are certain things that could place some blame on you.
Were you drunk at the time of the accident? Is the back pain from the accident really caused by a lingering football injury you’ve been dealing with for years? Was your vehicle already damaged before the accident? What was the weather like at the time of the accident? Were you on medication?
Unfortunately, insurance companies will often use underhanded tactics to get this information from you.
The insurance company might contact you and claim they “just need some basic information about yourself”. They might ask if you’re currently working, for example, to determine whether or not they need to pay lost income benefits.
Insurance companies might claim they’re “on your side” and that they “want to get this processed as quickly as possible”. In reality, insurance companies have one goal: to pay out as little as legally possible on every claim. The other driver’s insurance company is never on your side – no matter what they try to convince you.
Again, you do not have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company if they call. If you’re concerned about the outcome of a car insurance case, then you may want to contact a lawyer.
When Is It a Good Idea to Speak with the Other Insurance Company?
There are some situations when it’s a good idea to speak with the other insurance company.
There may be cases where the other driver was clearly at fault, for example, but has either lied to their insurance company or refused to speak with their insurance company. In this case, the other insurance company might not be aware of your medical bills, vehicle damages, lack of fault, and other aspects of the accident.
You may also want to speak with the other driver’s insurance company if the accident was minor. In this situation, it may not be worth hiring a lawyer. Your vehicle might only have minor damages, for example, and you may not have any injuries yourself. In this situation, you may only be delaying payout by avoiding speaking with the other insurance company.
If you do speak with the other driver’s insurance company, then stick to the objective facts of the accident. Avoid guessing or making assumptions.
If the car insurance company asks for more than just objective facts of the accident, then ask to have your own insurance company’s adjuster on the line during the call – or your lawyer. Your insurance company’s adjuster or your own lawyer may prevent you from accidentally saying the wrong thing.
Generally, however, if fault is being disputed and one driver or the other driver has significant injuries and damages, then you should avoid responding to the other insurance company until you speak with a lawyer.
You are not legally required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident.
If the other driver’s insurance company is contacting you after an accident, then it’s extremely unlikely they’re calling you for your own benefit. Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer in your area prior to contacting the insurance company. Most personal injury law firms offer free consultations. Or, have your own insurance company’s adjuster on the line.
The lawyer or adjuster will ensure you don’t jeopardize your claim by telling incorrect information to the other insurance company.