Until you are involved in a
car accident, you may have not put much thought into what you say to auto insurance
companies. But once you’re involved in a wreck, you need to watch
what you say and do.
If you aren’t careful, a misstep can affect how much of the accident
is covered and it can impact your premium, and not for the better.
You don’t want to lie to your insurance company or the other driver’s
because that would be fraud, however, how you conduct yourself after an
accident not only matters, but it can adversely affect your claim.
As injury lawyers, we can tell you that people say the wrong things to
insurance companies all the time, and they aren’t aware they are
doing it. When that happens, we have to keep digging deeper until we can
find out what really happened on the day of the accident.
Follow our advice if you’re ever in a car accident:
1. Never admit that you are at fault.
Even if you “think” the accident is your fault, do not say
it. If you T-boned another car at an intersection and you take the blame,
it could mean that your insurance company has to pick up 100% of the tab.
Instead, let the insurance companies investigate the accident and figure
it out. As long as you weren’t at a standstill at a red light or
a stop sign, you may be considered partially at fault. Let the insurance
companies assign the blame.
2. Be careful about stating facts.
Assuming you do not work for an insurance company, there is a strong possibility
that your opinion of what happened is not 100% accurate, and if you report
your version of events as fact, it can end up hurting you. When you speak
up, don’t forget to say, “In my opinion.”
3. Wait for the police.
Even if you have to get to work, don’t leave the scene before the
police arrive. This gives the other driver an advantage, who can paint
a different picture of what happened to the police, thereby placing you
in a less favorable light.
4. Be honest if you’re on something.
Sometimes drivers are asked to submit to a blood or urine test. Insurance
companies can learn a lot from these tests, so if you were on Xanax, OxyContin
or Ambien at the time of the accident, rest assured the insurance company
will find out about it.
When You’re Confident the Other Driver is At-Fault
If you are involved in an accident and you’re sure that the other
driver is at-fault, for example, they turned left in front of you as you
were driving through a green light, make sure the police give the other
driver a ticket.
Your rates will
not go up if the other driver is ticketed, and you’re getting written
proof that the accident was not your fault.
Looking for an Austin personal injury lawyer?
Contact Fogelman & Von Flatern, LLP to schedule your free initial consultation!