January 28, 2019
The time after a car accident is chaotic. While the thought of dealing with insurance companies, adjusters, and their representatives may seem like an incredible hassle, especially if you were not at fault, this is an important step towards securing what you need to recover: financially and physically. Your initial conversation with an insurance representative after a car accident is typically straightforward, but you will need to answer some basic questions, and it’s important to be prepared.
For advice on how to handle insurance companies after a car accident in Las Vegas or anywhere in Nevada, contact Paul Padda Law. We offer free initial consultations, where we can review your situation and explain how we can deal with insurers on your behalf. Call (702) 366-1888 or submit a request online.
Interviews with Insurance Companies
Whether you need to explain the circumstances surrounding your accident to your provider or another driver’s insurance company, the interview should be focused on gathering the facts. In most cases, these take place over the phone with the aim of assessing the extent of the damages and to properly assign liability. It should not feel like an interrogation, but it is important to be clear and honest. If you are unsure of how to answer a question, it is best to simply say that you don’t recall. Do not try to embellish facts or make false statements.
In some interviews, the insurance representative may request to record the conversation, but you are under no legal obligation to do so. These recordings can be used later in the claim process, and if being recorded makes you uncomfortable, you are well within your rights to decline being recorded. Additionally, you have the right to postpone speaking with an insurance company until you’ve had a chance to consult a lawyer or to have an attorney present for the interview. The representative may try to dissuade you against this or pressure you into giving a statement in the interest of time, but you do not have to give in.
Questions an Insurer May Ask You
The purpose of an interview with an insurer is to record the details of the accident from your perspective. Your answers will then be considered in how they determine liability and ultimately how much to potentially offer in an initial settlement.
Some of the most common insurance questions following a car accident include:
- What is the year/make/model of the vehicle that you were driving?
- Are you the registered owner of the vehicle?
- When did the accident happen (date/time)?
- Where did the accident occur?
- Which direction were you traveling?
- How many vehicles were involved?
- Who was involved and did you have passengers?
- Did you exchange information with the other parties?
- Were there any witnesses? If so, what are their names and contact information?
- Can you describe the damage to the vehicles involved?
- Did the airbag deploy?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt?
- Did you sustain any injuries or did anyone require medical attention?
- Were the police notified and was a police report filed?
- Did the police issue any citations to those involved?
- How did the accident come to happen from your point of view?
- Were there any contributing factors like traffic or weather conditions?
- Was the vehicle towed? If so, which repair shop?
- Do you have bills, receipts, or any documentation related to the accident?
Tips for Dealing with Insurers after a Car Accident:
You’ll likely be shocked by how quickly you are contacted by an insurance adjuster representing the alleged at-fault driver in your car accident. It can be stressful dealing with all of this and being asked to answer their questions, but here are some general guidelines to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Remain calm and answer politely.
It will be tempting to lash out and express your frustration about the accident and your injuries. Try to remember that the insurance representative is just doing their job and yelling at the voice on the phone will not help your situation. There’s no need to make your claim more contentious. It’s best to be tactful if you want to secure compensation quickly.
Take Notes and Know Who You’ve Spoken To.
When dealing with big companies, being transferred around to different departments or having your claim lost in the ether is a real problem. Try to keep track of representatives’ names, departments, and their contact information. If you assigned a case number, write it down too along with any information the company gives you.
Don’t Give Too Much Detail.
After an accident, you probably have a very clear picture of what happened and who is at fault. But, sometimes saying too much, too early can be detrimental. You don’t want to lock yourself into a description that has not been fully investigated. You may also discover that an injury that you initially described as minor was actually much more severe. While you always want to be honest and direct, it’s wise to keep answered short without elaborating.
Limit Your Personal Information.
Some of the insurance company’s question may seem innocuous, like your profession and marital status, but don’t be drawn in. These questions are usually meant to elicit information to calculate the value of what you’re likely to accept in the way of a settlement. At this point, you should only provide your name, address, contact info and information pertaining to the accident. Avoid or politely decline to answer anything dealing with your family situation, career, income, or other obligations.
Decline Giving a Statement Until You’ve Spoke to a Lawyer.
Insurance adjusters try to come off as friendly and focused on getting your compensation as quickly as possible. However, try to keep in mind these companies’ only goal is to pay out as little as possible. Everything will be geared towards that end. Before agreeing to record your version of events or giving answers to their questions, contact an experienced lawyer who knows about insurance adjusters, and what it will take to secure your total recovery.
Call Paul Padda Law Today
After a car accident, you are probably dealing with a damaged vehicle and possibly some very serious injuries. With the bills rolling in and limited resources to pay them out of your own pocket, how you handle the insurance process from the beginning will be incredibly important. With decades of experience and a passion for making sure car accident victims are given a chance to rebuild their lives, the Las Vegas car accident lawyers with Paul Padda Law are here to help.
We have an impressive history of getting clients everything they are entitled to under the law. Let us deal with making sure the insurance companies and their representatives give your case the attention it deserves. Call us at (702) 366-1888 or online to set up a free, no-risk consultation. Our team will answer your questions and are only paid when you recover compensation.