The responsible driver’s insurance company calls to discuss your auto accident. Should you talk to them? Or is it better left to an attorney?
After a Car Accident Should You Talk to The Insurance Company?
You have a voicemail on your phone from the other person’s insurance claims adjuster. They want to talk to you about the auto accident involving their driver.
You got a fast response. They seem nice.
Wait a minute…why are you getting such great service from an insurance company? Don’t fall for it!
Insurers act fast because they want to get to you before lawyers that cost them money get involved. They also know they can get you excited with how fast they can get you cash. They’re hoping you’ll make a hasty decision that saves them a bucketful of money.
So, should you talk to the claims adjuster yourself? Or, should you discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer first?
When to Handle Your Claim Yourself
You don’t hear this advice often. But in some cases, it makes sense to not involve a personal injury lawyer.
Such cases typically involve very straightforward liability and no allegation of injury.
For example, you were stationary at a red light and someone hit you. Fault is clear in that case. You also didn’t experience any injuries requiring medical treatment, so no medical expenses are involved. And you have high confidence you didn’t aggravate an injury that could appear weeks or months down the line.
If your claim is small and straightforward like that, you’re probably okay handling it yourself. Rehearse the facts of the accident before you talk to the adjuster to make sure you tell the story exactly as it happened.
You’ll likely be fine.
For Everything Else, At Least Run It By a Personal Injury Lawyer
The other driver’s insurance company should repair your vehicle or replace your car at fair market value if it’s totaled. They should cover all your medical expenses.
Typically, you should retain a lawyer if you were injured in the car wreck. You will want to retain counsel before giving any statements to the adjuster – especially if there’s any possibility liability could be questioned.
Some people try and go it alone for a period of time but quickly get frustrated when the adjuster starts questioning why they have to keep going to the doctor or why they are having to miss work.
If You Ever Feel You’re Not Getting Fair Treatment, Contact a Lawyer
Sometimes, your gut instinct tells you something isn’t right. You may try to handle the personal injury claim yourself and suddenly get overwhelmed. If that’s the case, contact a personal injury advocate and tell them about the details of your claim.
Since they offer free consultations, you have nothing to risk. The worst you can possibly learn is that you don’t need their services and are getting a fair offer.
And, you’ll have the confidence that the insurance company isn’t shorting you in any way. Remember, you can do this at any point in the process – even if you’ve already spoken with the claims adjuster.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.