What Not to Do After a Car Crash
If you think about it, society doesn’t work very well if we all go around assuming that everyone is out to get us, or that everyone we talk to is lying. As humans living in a society, we pretty much assume the people we are speaking with are not lying to us, are not out to get us, and mean us no harm. And most of the time, that’s the truth, and it is a good way to approach interactions with other humans.
These normal human interactions and suppositions don’t work the same way once you’ve had a car wreck. The reason they don’t work the same way is not a surprise to you. It’s money. Money changes motivations. It’s the reason our normal life rules of thumb, described above, don’t work very well in a car wreck case.
I cannot even begin to count how many clients, over the past twenty years, have started off a conversation with me about what the at-fault’s insurance adjuster has said to them by saying . . . they just seemed really nice. Now, sometimes that isn’t what I hear, and I been hired many, many times because insurance adjusters are rude to injured people who were in a wreck that their insured caused. But many times, the insurance carriers’ agents are super nice, right up until the point where they refuse to offer you a fair settlement for your claim.
Why is this? It’s because the at-fault driver’s insurance company has no legal obligation to you, the injured party. Sometimes it seems like they care; they keep calling, they are asking about your health but think about it. Who do they owe an obligation to? Not you, the person their insured just injured in a car wreck. Their legal obligation is to their insured; the person who caused the wreck, and who caused your injuries. Their obligation is also to their shareholders. Combined, what that means to you is that their obligation is to pay as little as possible to resolve your claims against your insured. They will generally do everything except actually pay you what your claim is worth to avoid you hiring me, or someone like me, so that you actually get paid what your case is worth.
Does the at-fault’s insurance company’s adjuster sound like a person you should be casually chatting with about your injuries, your health care, and, believe it or not, your social security number? (You would be amazed at the information they ask for, and sometimes obtain just because they asked.) Don’t talk to the opposing insurance carrier about your claim. Not. At. All. They have no legal obligation to you. Their legal obligations are to their insured and their shareholders. Don’t give a recorded statement to them. Call a lawyer.
Unless you happen to be a personal injury lawyer, they know more than you do about how to process a car wreck claim. Remember, when you give a statement to the insurance carrier, they record it, and it will be around forever. You will be held to every word you say, forever. It can be used to impeach you in any future proceeding, for as long as the case exists.
It costs absolutely nothing for us to listen to you and discuss with you whether we can be of help in your case. If we accept your case for representation, you pay us absolutely nothing upfront. We are happy to listen and see if we can help – don’t be scared, you aren’t bothering us! Give us a call, we will listen to you.