After a motor vehicle crash, you may wonder if your insurance company will be on your side. Although your insurance adjuster may be a nice person, the company has a financial interest in denying or low-balling your claim. Adjustors for other drivers are never on your side. What you say after a crash can be used against you, so you should stick to the facts.
The first thing to know is that you will, in fact, have to talk to your own insurer. You are, after all, going to make a claim. However, you should be careful about what you say without talking to your personal injury attorney first.
Ideally, get your claim started as soon as possible, but put off discussing the specifics of the accident until you have all of the facts and have met with your attorney. If that turns out to be impossible, stick to providing verifiable facts.
The second thing to know is that you should never lie to an insurance company. It’s illegal and could be considered insurance fraud.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Michigan is a “no-fault” insurance state, which theoretically means that it doesn’t matter who was at fault in a car crash for certain insurance benefits. Depending on the policy of insurance that you purchased, you may be covered for medical benefits, wage loss, damage to the other vehicle and miscellaneous liability even if you were responsible for the crash.
The full extent of your injuries may take time to develop
When deciding how much you will need in compensation, it’s important to have a full idea of how injured you are and what kinds of treatment you may need to recover. It’s important to understand that some injuries don’t show up fully until days, weeks or months after a crash or get worse over time.
If you are injured, you should focus on getting the immediate care you need. You should also keep in mind that the full extent of your injuries is not yet known.
When making your claim, don’t say, “I’m fine.” If it was a serious crash, you may not be “fine” without realizing it.
Avoid making a recorded statement until you have recovered from the shock of the crash and can speak with a clear head.
This isn’t about being tricky. It’s about being thorough and fair. If possible, talk to your personal injury attorney before you make a statement, especially a recorded one. Any statement you make to the insurance company could be used to limit or deny your claim. Don’t give the insurance company ammunition that they can misconstrue to work against you.
Again, it would be illegal and wrong to lie to an insurance company. What your personal injury lawyer can do is help you organize the events in your mind, focus on what is important, and make sure you are aware of common insurance company tactics used to deny meritorious claims.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, your injuries are your first priority. Your next priority should be seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer.