Is it OK to talk to the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident? Well, the first thing you need to understand is that the insurance adjuster is not working for you. That individual is looking to protect the interest of the insurance company and its insured, and to spend as little money as possible on your claim. The adjuster may seem friendly and understanding, but he or she will absolutely use any information you provide to his company’s advantage if possible.
One thing that you can talk to the adjuster about is the damage to your car. If fault has been accepted, it is fine to allow an appraiser to assess the property damage. This will speed along the process of getting your car fixed or totaled out if it isn’t repairable. If your car isn’t drive-able, you also have the right to a rental car while your car is being repaired.
If you plan on hiring an attorney, or have already done so, you should absolutely not discuss your injuries or medical care with the adjuster. If it is only a few days or even a week following your accident, it is possible that you won’t fully understand the extent of your injuries. So, don’t offer details that could possibly hurt your case in the future. If you aren’t sure if you are going to hire an attorney, you can just say that you don’t know the full nature of your injuries and that you are seeking medical treatment.
Never sign a medical authorization for the other driver’s insurance company and allow them to obtain your records directly from your doctors. If you sign such an authorization, it would allow the insurance company to examine the full scope of your medical history, and they may try to use your past medical records against you. If you do hire a lawyer, your representative will obtain your medical records and bills, and will only provide the documents which the insurer absolutely needs in order to evaluate your claim.
If you are in a position where you have to talk with an adjuster, always be polite, as this adjuster will eventually be evaluating your claim and assigning a dollar amount to it. Only offer basic information such as your name, address and birth date. You can also share minimal details about the accident, including where it occurred, what time and day, and what type of vehicle you were driving. Never give a recorded statement to the insurer without your attorney being on the phone with you.
As I mentioned at the outset, the adjuster is not looking out for your best interest, and is trying to save money for the insurance company. Be careful what you say, and other than discussing the damage to your car and providing minimal details about the accident, refer the adjuster to your attorney for any further information about your claim.
Learn more about talking with insurance companies after a car accident.