After you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to follow the right steps so you can get the compensation you deserve or so you can avoid being held liable for the accident by the other driver’s insurance company or legal team. If you’re being contacted by an insurance company or lawyer that is not your own, then you will need to be cautious and contact your accident lawyer in Houston, TX right away.
The Other Lawyer and Insurance Company Are Calling Me: What Should I Do?
Most of the time, the other lawyer or insurance company will not contact you to be friendly. If you’re being contacted, then it’s likely because the other driver is blaming you for the accident and their insurance or legal team is looking for evidence to prove your liability in the case. If you are being contacted by the insurance company or other lawyer, then the first thing you should do is reach out to your accident lawyer.
Your accident lawyer will likely advise you to not answer calls, letters, or other contact attempts from the other driver’s insurance company or legal team. You are not under any obligation to answer these contact attempts yourself. Instead, your lawyer may contact these callers to make it known you have legal representation and you are prepared to fight for your rights.
Why Would You Be Called in Houston, TX?
Usually, when an insurance company or another lawyer contacts you, it’s with the goal to gather information or evidence that can be used against you in a legal claim. While the conversation may seem friendly, anything you say to the insurance company or lawyer will be notated and possibly considered evidence that you are liable for the accident. If you do happen to answer one of these calls, be sure to avoid saying the following:
Apologizing for the accident, even apologizing because the other driver was injured, is a huge mistake whether you’re talking to the police, the insurance company, or another lawyer. When you apologize, you are essentially admitting fault in the accident. Especially avoid phrases such as “It was all my fault,” as this will be interpreted as you claiming responsibility. These words will be used against you if or when your case progresses to a legal dispute.
You should avoid using opinion statements such as “I think” or “In my opinion”, as these statements can be used to argue against your account of events. Always stick to factual information. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, then you should not answer or you should say you don’t know. Offering opinions can be detrimental to your case and may be used to hold you liable for the accident.
Whether or not you’ve been injured in the accident, it’s important to avoid downplaying your injuries or saying “I’m fine.” This is particularly important immediately after the accident. You should avoid making any statements on your health until you have been examined by a doctor, who will then document any injuries you have in your medical files.
If the insurance company for the other driver asks to view your medical documents, you should speak with your accident lawyer immediately. The insurance company or other legal team will need your consent to view your medical information, so your lawyer will be able to help you assess whether or not you should sign any medical releases.
While it’s not a good idea to say you don’t have any injuries, it’s also not a good idea to mention specific injuries – particularly whiplash. If you mention whiplash to an insurance company, they will likely consider this a red flag since whiplash claims are so commonly fraudulent. If you mention specific injuries like this, then the insurance company or legal team may look deeper into your claim.
Always wait until you have specific information from your doctor about exactly what injuries you really have: never speculate, even if you recognize certain common symptoms, and especially in front of the insurance company.
While providing details can seem helpful, the fact of the matter is that unnecessary details can put your involvement in the accident in a bad light. You should not mention your speed, how you were feeling emotionally that day, or other details that can be used against you. The only details you should mention are the factual details of the case, specifically the precise events of the accident and your injuries thereafter.
Sometimes, insurance companies or other lawyers will ask for the names of your family, friends, and physicians. Providing additional names or contact information is a mistake as this will allow adjusters and lawyers to ask other people about your injuries or recovery, which can then be used against you during your case.
Even if you do not currently have a lawyer when you are being contacted by the other driver’s insurance or legal team, you should not admit that you do not have legal representation. It’s in your best interest to get off the call as soon as possible and contact an accident lawyer so you can have a legal team on your side.
Sometimes, the insurance company will try to give you a settlement offer when they contact you. Be aware that these settlement offers are typically low estimates that may not cover the cost of your personal damages related to the accident. By accepting any settlement offers, you will also lose your right to a legal suit. If you are offered a settlement, you should immediately bring this settlement offer to your lawyer so that the settlement can be negotiated in your favor.
What About Recorded Statements?
Recorded statements seem like a good idea because they record your account of the accident word-for-word. But accepting a recorded statement is rarely a benefit for you. Instead, recorded statements are broken down and analyzed to look for inconsistencies that will be used against you to prove liability. You are not ever obligated to give a recorded statement. Only give a recorded statement if your lawyer says it’s okay.
How an Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’re being contacted by an insurance company or the legal team for the other driver, then the chances are high that they are trying to gather evidence to use against you because the other driver is claiming you are responsible for the accident. If you are contacted, then you have a few ways you can avoid contact.
For example, you can answer the call, ask who is calling you and why, and then say that you are busy at the moment. You can also give the caller your lawyer’s contact information. Some people prefer to let the call go to voicemail and then forward that call to their lawyer. Additionally, sometimes you may receive emails or letters instead. Again, these contact attempts should all be given directly to your lawyer.
After an accident, it’s never a good thing to be contacted by an insurance company or legal team that isn’t your own. Whether or not you answer the call, it’s important to avoid saying certain statements that can be used against you in your accident claim. To learn more about what you should do when an insurance company or other lawyer is trying to contact you, get in touch with Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC in Houston, TX.