What NOT to Do After a Traffic Accident
Auto accidents, bus accidents, truck accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents take place frequently on our local streets. In fact, you may have even seen a crash occur with your own eyes before, but you probably didn’t expect to be in a wreck yourself. If this is your first time being involved in a car crash, it can be overwhelming to say the least. In fact, you might not know what to do—other than exchange insurance information and contact information with the other driver and seek medical treatment.
But did you know that there are things you don’t want to do after being in a wreck? It’s true. From the moment an auto accident occurs, it is important that you know what not to do so that you don’t wreck your personal injury case.
3 Things Not to Do After a Crash
Here are three things you never want to do after a motor vehicle accident without speaking with an attorney first:
Don’t Speak With an Insurance Adjuster
From the moment your accident took place, the insurance adjuster’s job is to research the crash, injuries, and how much money you will be entitled to. Remember, adjusters work for insurance companies who want to pay claimants as little money as possible. For example, an insurance adjuster may call within the first few days of the crash and greet you by asking how you are. You might reply with, “I’m good, thanks.” The problem with this is that even as something as simple as this common conversation exchange can work against you. An insurance adjuster will use every word they can against you to lower your settlement. This is why you should have an attorney make contact with an insurance adjuster on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about making little mistakes that could hurt your claim.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
If you do speak with an insurance adjuster, he will often ask you to provide a recorded statement of the incident during your very first conversation. It is important to note that there is no law that requires you to provide an adjuster with a recorded statement this early in your claim—as it will only benefit the insurance company. It is okay to tell the insurance adjuster that you need more time or you would like to schedule the call for a day that you won’t have any interruptions or distractions. Because you will be bound by anything you say in your statement, it is critical that you take it seriously and take your time before giving a recorded statement. If you are working with an attorney, your lawyer will delay your statement until the right time, prepare you for making a statement, and will be with you to advise you during your recorded statement.
Don’t Sign Any Documents
The insurance adjuster will likely ask you to sign a release form during your very first conversation so he or she can access your medical records. This form is called a medical release form. Be aware, the insurance company might mail this form to you and inform you that they need access to your medical records in order to continue with your claim. Unfortunately, medical release forms are often used against claimants. This is because insurance adjusters will look back in your medical history to see if there is any similar injury you suffered so they can blame your previous injury as the cause of your current pain—trying to reduce their liability. When working with an attorney, your lawyer will advise you what forms you should and shouldn’t sign and when and what you should sign.
We Can Help Protect Your Rights
Because insurance adjusters are trained to negotiate personal injury claims in a way to save their company money, it is essential that you have this knowledge before you ever speak with an adjuster. Now that you know an insurance adjuster will attempt to use your words against you, you should consider speaking with an attorney experienced in negotiating with insurance adjusters so that you can get the maximum possible financial recovery. For help finding the right lawyer for you, request a free copy of Got Hurt? Forget the Silly Lawyer Ads…, or call our office at 215-569-1455 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation today.