3 Things to Understand Before You Discuss Accident with Insurance Rep
Have a car accident attorney explain the law, your rights, and the insurance company’s obligations before you speak to anyone else about the accident.
Most people think that they need to speak to the insurance company immediately after a car accident. In reality, this can put you at a disadvantage. To avoid making any misstatements that could reduce your available compensation, you need to consult a skilled car accident attorney who can explain these three things to you before you speak to any insurance representatives.
Obviously, it is necessary to understand what the law says about liability in order to determine if you deserve compensation for your injuries, or if you may actually be liable for others’ injuries following a car accident. If you do not understand the law, you risk assuming more responsibility than you rightfully should. This could lead you to make misstatements to the insurance company that could unfairly reduce your available compensation.
Even if you know you made a mistake that contributed to the accident, you still need to proceed with care. In California, it is possible for two or more drivers (or other parties) to share responsibility for an accident. In this case, the division of responsibility is very important because it will determine what percentage of your damages will be eligible for compensation. For example, if you are found 20 percent liable for an accident and another driver was 80 percent liable, they would have to pay 80 percent of your damages. Again, you would not want to make any misstatements that might change this balance against you so it is best not to comment on the accident before consulting an attorney.
If you contact any insurance company after a car accident—even your own—they may try to pressure you into making a recorded statement. It is entirely possible they will make this sound like a mandatory activity. The reality is, you do not have to make a recorded statement immediately after the accident, and you should never agree to make a statement without first consulting a car accident attorney. Remember, recorded statements can be used in legal proceedings against you, but mere notes cannot. So you need to be very careful to exercise your right to legal counsel before making a recorded statement.
The Insurance Company’s Obligations
Insurance companies have many obligations to their policy holders and to individuals who have been injured by policy holders. For example, insurance companies have to provide information about policy limits promptly, investigate claims fairly, and pay settlements quickly. Additionally, they are obligated to provide all types of compensation victims may be eligible for, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, etc. Without understanding how the insurance company’s obligations apply to your case, you may very well risk accepting less compensation than you deserve.
Rely on Fernando D. Vargas for Expert Help
The best way to make sure you know everything you need to know to protect your rights and interests when dealing with insurance companies is to get Fernando D. Vargas on your side. Attorney Vargas is highly experienced in car accident cases and he can help put you in the best possible position to maximize your compensation following an injury.