It’s important to cooperate with your insurance company after an accident. Most insurers require their policy holders to report accidents soon after they occur. Reporting an accident, however, is different than making a statement or having a recorded statement with your insurance company about the factors involved in causing this accident. Also, be careful in stating how you’re feeling at this point in time after the accident. Make sure you indicate to your insurance company that you’re injured, experiencing pain and seeing a doctor. But, just give them the basic facts. If the other party’s insurance is not enough to compensate you for your pain and suffering, or if the other party involved does not have insurance, you may well have ensured that your own policy of insurance will compensate you monetarily for these injuries. This is uninsured motorist coverage and under-insured motorist coverage.
Making statements to your own insurance company about your injuries, or about exactly how the accident happened, can adversely affect you. You do have to give them a report after the accident, but all you have to give them are the basic facts. Be sure to consult an experienced attorney before making any further statements to your own insurance company.
Under no circumstances should you ever speak with the other driver’s insurance company. This may well jeopardize your case. They will construe your words against you. They will ask questions in a fashion that you really can’t answer without damaging your case. Never give a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company. This can also jeopardize your case, as the carrier will try to use your statement on a later date, against you.
What Are Some Defenses That Insurance Companies May Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?
The most common doctrines that act as defenses in an automobile accident case or other injury case are comparative fault and assumption of risk. Comparative Fault is that portion of your negligence that caused or contributed to your injury. Assumption of risk is a complete defense to a case, whereas comparative fault is going to be a percentage of your fault versus the other party’s fault.
Defense insurance companies will try to twist your testimony in such a manner as to make you comparatively at fault. For example, what seem like reasonable questions, such as, how fast were you going when you saw the other vehicle; how many seconds elapsed before you felt an impact; how many feet did the other vehicle travel, or did your vehicle travel before or after the accident can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of your case. These are the common types of questions that the defense insurance company will try to get you to answer in a statement, or later in a deposition. By using simple time, distance, speed calculations, these answers can get you in a lot of trouble and prepare a defense for the insurance carrier. This is why we stress no statements to the insurance company under any circumstances.
By seeking medical care with the qualified medical doctor, you can avoid the defense of reasonable and necessary care. This is very important, because it is the first thing that the insurance company will try to attack after they’ve passed the liability phase in your case.
The insurance companies will question whether the medical treatment you received was reasonable given the injuries that you have, and whether the care that was subsequently given by your doctor, was necessary. They will question whether physical therapy, surgeries, MRIs, or any other modalities of treatment that you received were necessary. This is why it is so important that the doctor that you see is a qualified medical doctor. He or she must be well respected in the medical community. This is again, why it is so important to hire an experienced, a competent attorney in the field of injury accidents to assist you.
When deciding to retain an attorney, ask friends or relatives for a referral, or contact the state bar of California. Beware of advertising. Always make sure your attorney is rated AV by the Martindale-Hubble Law Directory, which indicates the attorney is rated, very high to preeminent, in their particular field. This rating comes from attorneys as well as Judges throughout the state of California.
An experienced attorney will know those doctors that are well respected, and those that are not. They will give you names of doctors for you to choose from, that are well thought of, in the medical community. They will ensure that a defense attorney trying to attack whether your care was reasonable or necessary will not be effective. For more information on Notifying Insurance Of An Auto Accident, a video consultation is your next best step.