After a car accident, there are many parties who will want to ask you what happened. Aside from your lawyer, the responding officer, your insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company will all ask you to give your side of the events.
You do not need to speak with your insurance provider immediately after the car accident. Having a lawyer on your side can make this communication with insurers much more effective. However, you will need to give your lawyer the basic details about what happened if you plan on pursuing a claim.
If you have not prepared for the conversation, you do not need to respond to the adjuster’s first inquiry. When you are ready, your responses should prioritize accuracy and directness when recounting the essential accident details.
Furthermore, familiarize yourself with your policy, understanding coverage limits and specific notification obligations it may have, before speaking with an adjuster.
7 topics insurance adjusters cover after a Savannah accident
Insurance adjusters typically follow a scripted set of questions during interviews related to car accidents. Review the following questions to make sure you know what to expect. After asking your full name, the adjuster will typically ask the following:
- Data usage notice:
- Do you give consent to our recording of this interview?
- Vehicle and personal details:
- Please provide your address, phone number, and date of birth.
- Can you specify the accident-involved vehicle’s year, make, and model?
- Are you the registered vehicle owner?
- Situational vehicle information:
- Was the vehicle in use for business or government purposes?
- Were there any minors or passengers in the vehicle?
- When did the accident happen (date and time)?
- How many vehicles were part of the accident?
- Setting and scene:
- Which street were you on during the accident?
- Did weather conditions contribute to the accident?
- Was traffic light, moderate, or heavy?
- Accident circumstances:
- Can you describe what led to the accident?
- Detail the damage to your vehicle and the other involved vehicle.
- Did you attempt any evasive maneuvers to prevent the collision?
- Were you impaired by drugs or alcohol?
- Were you using a cellphone or any electronic device during the incident?
- Were you adhering to the posted speed limit?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt?
- Did your airbag deploy?
- Post accident information:
- Did law enforcement respond to the accident scene?
- Was a police report filed, and were any traffic citations issued?
- Were vehicles moved before police arrived?
- Were there any witnesses to the accident?
- Did you receive medical attention afterward?
- Is there any additional accident-related information that you would like to share that hasn’t been covered in this interview?
What should I avoid when responding to insurance companies?
When responding to these questions, stick to the facts as you recall them and refrain from speculating, particularly about the actions of the other driver involved in the collision.
- Admitting fault: Even if you suspect your actions contributed to the accident, do not indicate to insurers that you were at fault. Provide your perspective and again, do not overshare. Your limited perspective during the crash may lead to your incorrect assessments of your involvement.
- Lying: If you lie to the insurance company, they can use this as a basis for denying your claim.
- Speaking with the other driver’s insurer: If the crash involved another driver, their insurance company will also request a statement—particularly if that driver appears to have caused the accident. Talking to the other driver’s insurance company or their lawyers can potentially compromise your legal rights and limit your ability to pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries.
- Posting about the accident on social media: Make sure you do not post anything about your accident on social media. An insurance company may conduct their own investigation of the accident, find your post, and use your words against you. Depending on what you share publicly about your accident, they may devalue or deny your claim altogether.
- Not seeking medical assessment: Do not answer questions from an adjuster until you have received medical treatment for your injuries. This means that you should seek medical care promptly after your accident, even if symptoms are initially mild. Many accident victims do not develop symptoms right away, especially in the case of a traumatic brain, soft tissue, or internal injury. You may not be showing symptoms right now, but you could later, and you want to be able to prove that your injuries are linked to the accident and not a previously existing injury.
Victims of car accidents never have to talk to the insurance company without their attorney present, but the chances are that they will need to describe the accident eventually. If you find yourself in this situation, consult with a trusted Savannah car accident attorney to best express the truth of the events leading up to your accident. Insurance adjusters, even if they are representing your policy, will try to use anything you say to deny or diminish your claim.
Our trusted and experienced team of Savannah attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP will handle insurance company communication, allowing you to prioritize recovery after your car accident. We have offices in Atlanta and Savannah, providing comprehensive support. Call or contact us today for your free consultation.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Read more about Jeffrey R. Harris here.