After you’ve been involved in a car accident, part of the subsequent process will likely involve communicating with car insurance companies. This is especially true if one of the parties involved, whether it’s you or the other driver, intends to seek compensation for any damages sustained, either to the vehicle or themselves. Through this process, you’ll need to answer car insurance company questions, so it’s important to know what to expect and what information you’re actually obligated to provide.
The North Carolina auto accident lawyers at Rodzik Law Group have helped many people through the process of navigating questions from car insurance companies and creating the strongest possible case for themselves in the event of a personal injury claim. We’ve written before on our blog about what you can expect from working with auto accident lawyers. In this post, we’ll explain what car insurance companies may ask you following an accident and what information is best to give them.
You should contact your insurance company as soon as you return home from the scene of the accident. If you believe the other driver is liable and intend to pursue damages, your policy may include relevant benefits for you to make use of. These include coverage for repairs, a temporary rental vehicle and related medical expenses, which are more likely to be needed from your own insurance company if the other driver’s insurer is disputing your claim and refusing to compensate you.
With your own insurance company, you should provide the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of other drivers involved in the accident, the law enforcement agency responding to the incident, the date, time, and location of the accident, and any injuries or damage to your vehicle you’ve sustained. For injuries in particular, it may be best to wait until you’ve visited a doctor and received any results from your visit, as you may have received worse injuries than you immediately feel or realize after the accident. It’s important not to downplay the severity of your injuries or vehicle damage, even to your own insurer, and to instead be as straightforward as possible about them.
The most important thing you need to know about communicating with the other driver’s insurer is that you are not legally obligated to do so at all. In the event that someone involved in the accident may file a claim for damages, whether it’s you or anyone else involved in the incident, it’s especially recommended that you don’t communicate with insurance companies other than your own. Whether you do or don’t speak with them, though, this element of an auto accident especially calls for hiring an attorney and communicating with an adjuster from your own insurance company to represent you in any potential legal process.
If you communicate with the other driver’s insurance company, they are likely to ask you the same questions as your own company about the basic details of the incident. However, they will also likely ask questions like whether you were hurt, whether you were wearing a seatbelt, how the crash occurred, the contact information of any witnesses, whether the weather may have played a role in the crash, and which direction you were travelling in. Their goal in asking these questions is to pay as little money to you as possible by creating a case that their insured driver was not at fault.
The point made in the previous section is especially important here; don’t downplay the severity of your injuries or car damage in any way. Be sure of these details before communicating with any insurance company, because they could be used in a case against you in court.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact the North Carolina auto accident attorneys at Rodzik Law Group immediately. We’ll give you more specific guidance based on your case. Schedule a consultation with us now to find out more.