Just SHUT up!
I'm Rahlita Thornton with the Thornton Esquire Law Group. Today, I want to talk to you about what to do when the insurance company calls you after you have an accident.Don't Give Statements
One of the first things I tell my clients is, "Don't give statements." We don't give recorded statements to the other driver's insurance companies. Sometimes they'll call you right after the accident, but don't give a statement.What To Do Instead
Instead, we suggest that you contact an attorney if you think that the other person was at fault and that you are injured. And it's not to try to hide anything. It's just to make sure that your case has been analyzed before you start making statements.The Tricky Thing About Injuries
We have a lot of clients who say that they're not even injured. At the same time, they are still having pain in their neck or headaches, but they tell the insurance company they weren't injured because they think, "Oh, I wasn't injured because I didn't go to an emergency room, so I'm not that hurt."
But a day or two later, they can hardly get out of bed. And so I would say that they were injured. But guess what? The recording on the insurance company's recording is going to say that you weren't hurt. So you're going to have a battle because you're going to need to get yourself taken care of.
If you can hardly get out bed, you need some medical attention. You're going to need some treatment and will have some medical bills. You may not be able to work if you can hardly walk and figure out what's going on with you.
So who's to say what's going on? Our body is something that's fragile, and we don't really even know once we're injured and once we've been hit like that. We don't know what's going on with us. We have to figure it out. So don't get on the phone and start spilling your guts about the accident.What You Must Do
Contact an attorney if you think that you are hurt, even in the slightest. This is very important. That's one of the main reasons why I would say not to make a statement. Sometimes, you just don't know what's going to happen the next few days or next week.
The other thing is that sometimes, you have to give a statement to your own insurance company. But that doesn't mean that you have to give it to them the next day or the next two days. You still have to do some evaluation.An Example
I had a client who was in a hit-and-run situation. Now for hit-and-run accidents, you have to have an impact, or you have to have some kind of touching or brushing.
Let's say, somebody comes near you, but they don't actually hit you, like a near miss, and then it causes you to do something. What if they leave the scene, and you hit the concrete median as a result of them coming within a tenth of an inch from you. And they didn't even touch you, or you don't know whether they touched you or not.
Then they go on about their business, and you tell your insurance company, "Oh, they didn't even touch me, but they caused me to run into the median." Well, your uninsured motorist coverage is not going to be applicable because you've told them that you weren't even touched. That's why it's important to talk to an attorney first before you start giving statements to anybody.Another Example
I had another case. At first she thought she wasn't hit by the other driver, but then upon closer inspection, she saw that her car had some damage to one side of her vehicle. At first, she had told me that the car didn't hit her.
And if she had given a statement before realizing that it did, we wouldn't be fighting really hard about it. But because we were able to talk to her and figure it out, we were able to get them to pay that coverage to make sure she was taken care of.
Anyway, if you have any similar concerns, any other kind of question, or anything you want to share, feel free to reach out.