Most drivers know that after they have been in a car crash, they need to phone their insurance company. That means after you have called your insurer and lawyer, you can reasonably expect a call from the other motorists’ insurer rather quickly. By the time this call rolls around, you may have had little to no time to gather your thoughts.
That is why it is important to prepare yourself ahead of time, because the reality is anything you say can and will be used against you. This can be particularly fatal to your case in North Carolina, as contributory negligence law means that you have to be zero percent at fault if you want to see any compensation (so don’t apologize for anything!).
Here are 7 tips to help you avoid having your words twisted and used against you:
- Keep your cool. After a traumatic accident, it is only understandable that you would be upset, but you do not want to direct anger at the adjuster. Be respectful.
- Ask who you’re talking to. You want their name, the contact information, the insurance company, and the driver they are calling on behalf of.
- Don’t volunteer personal information. On the first call, you can give your name, contact information, and job. But do not give any details beyond that.
- Stick to the bare minimum about the accident. You don’t want to fully explain your injuries. Basically don’t explain more than the crash type, who was involved, and witness names. Tell the adjuster up front that this call will be brief as the case is pending.
- Record the call in writing. Once the call ends, grab something to write with and jot down absolutely every detail you remember.
- Don’t accept any settlement offer. The first offer is almost certainly too low. You want to make sure all your financial losses are covered.
- Don’t let your conversation be recorded. The adjuster is probably going to ask if the call be can be recorded. You may be rattled from the incident, and having your conversation recorded could be more nerve-wracking than you thought. It is too easy to leave details out, or phrase something incorrectly.
The reality is, the details of your case are best handled in writing, ideally, with the help of an experienced legal advocate. It can be tricky to deal with insurance. Not only are adjusters looking out for the company’s bottom line, but you could be met with frustrating obstacles, being handed off from adjuster to adjuster, almost never getting a straight answer.
At the Whitley Law Firm, our Raleigh car accident attorneys have nearly four decades of experience with which to represent you. Find out how we could help you achieve a fair result when you ask for your free case review today!