You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. These are two essential tenets of your Miranda rights. Whenever the police apprehend a suspect, these two principles are explicitly described to make sure alleged criminals do not overshare to authorities without knowing their constitutional rights. Whenever you speak with insurance companies after a car accident, you should abide by similar standards. Always know what you should say before you say it, and always speak with an attorney.
Insurance adjusters are trained to nitpick. They are taught to manipulate claimants to overshare the bad and withhold the good. Insurance representatives know exactly what information they need to hear to limit the available damages. Most commonly these insurance agents will request a recorded statement to ensure your words are maintained forever. So, remember your Miranda rights! Whenever an insurance company approaches you asking for a recorded statement make sure you think before you speak and always talk with an attorney first.
Here are three things to avoid sharing with the insurance company after an accident.
It was my fault! This seems like a no brainer, but in the heat of the moment admitting fault might be your natural tendency. There is a big difference between emotional liability and legal liability. You may feel responsible, but in the eyes of the court you might not be legally at fault for causing the collision. Admitting otherwise on a whim to an insurance company can and will be used against you in your insurance claim and in a court of law.
I feel fine… We often – as humans – tend to minimize how we are feeling, both emotionally and physically, to reduce conflict. After a car accident, you might be suffering substantial amounts of pain. As soon as an insurance agent asks you how you are feeling, however, your human reaction to reduce conflict might cause to undervalue your own damages. Be wary when speaking with insurance adjusters about your injuries to ensure you don’t spill too many beans.
I accept (your first offer)! Insurance strategy number one - send the injured claimant a check for $1,000 with a letter included. What a great offer! The letter reads, this money is yours for free because we feel bad that you were in a car accident. All you must do is sign and return this letter and the money is all yours! It’s a trap! By signing a release agreement and accepting the insurance money, you may have just limited your ability to receive fair compensation in the future.
Always remember your Miranda rights whenever you speak with an insurance company after a car accident. The adjuster is not your friend and is doing their job to reduce your compensation. Speaking with an attorney at the outset of your case will help ensure you know the right things to say and the wrong statements to avoid. At the law offices of Magnuson Lowell, PS, our qualified attorneys are dedicated to removing insurance manipulation from the equation. If you are injured in a car accident, call today for a free case evaluation.