How to Make an Insurance Statement After Being in an Accident in Los Angeles
After being involved in an accident in Los Angeles, filing a report with one’s insurance company as soon as possible after the crash is very important. If you don’t file an accident report or delay in giving your insurance company notice of your accident, your claim could be denied.
But filing an accident report and recovering the amount of compensation that you’re deserved is about more than simply calling up your insurance company; instead, when you make a statement, it’s best to understand best practices. Unfortunately, the reality is that your insurance company probably doesn’t want to pay out your claim in full– its top priority is to save as much money as possible, which means finding ways to reduce the value of your claim. With that in mind, refer to the following tips for making an insurance statement after being involved in an accident in Los Angeles–
1. Don’t Delay
First, remember that you want to file your insurance statement sooner rather than later. If you delay if giving your insurance company notice of the accident, they may have grounds to deny your claim based on this. In most cases, it is wise to call your insurance company within 24-48 hours of the accident to report that the accident has occurred. This does not mean that you have to give a recorded statement within this time frame, but that you should provide the insurance company with when and where the accident happened.
The reason that giving an insurance company notice is so important is that an insurance company maintains the right to open an investigation into your accident and needs adequate time to do so.
2. Be Sure to Have Already Sought Medical Care
Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of seeking medical care. By the time that you report your accident to your insurance company and certainly before making an official or recorded statement, you should have already seen a doctor. There are multiple reasons why seeing a doctor after a crash is so important. First, by seeing a doctor, you have peace of mind that you are getting an accurate diagnosis for your injuries and moving forward with the treatment you need; if you don’t get medical care, your injuries could worsen.
When it comes to filing a car accident claim, getting medical care is important because it establishes causation between the accident and your injuries. If you don’t seek medical care right after a crash, the insurance company may question whether or not your injuries are really connected to the accident at all.
3. File a Police Report
Just like getting medical care and providing the insurance company with notice of your accident in advance, filing a police report after an accident is absolutely critical. If you do not file a police report, your insurance company may deny your claim. Filing a police report is something that you should do at the scene of the accident when possible, or within the first 24 hours after an accident otherwise.
4. Be Honest
Diving into how to present yourself and tips when you’re giving the actual insurance statement, one of the most important pieces of advice is to be honest. It can be difficult to not hyperbolize how the accident happened or the extent of your injuries, especially when you are feeling emotional and worried about your future. It can also be easy to downplay your role in the accident by misrepresenting facts, such as the speed at which you were traveling or whether or not you were distracted. Whenever you are talking to an insurance adjuster, it is very important to say, “I don’t know” when you are asked something that you do not know the answer to (such as the precise speed at which you were traveling when the accident occurred) rather than to guess.
If an insurance adjuster discovers that you have “lied” about anything, even if doing so was unintentional, this can undermine your entire statement and put doubt in the adjuster’s mind about the veracity of anything you say. The insurance adjuster may use this against you to devalue your claim.
5. Don’t Provide More Than You’re Asked
Another thing to remember when giving a statement to an insurance company is to not provide more detail or more information than that which you’re specifically asked about. Really, in the initial part of the process, you only need to provide the insurance company with an accident report and the basics of your crash, such as your name, the time of the crash, the location of the crash, the direction you were heading at the time of the crash, etc. You can also indicate that you’ve sought treatment for your injuries, but you do not need to delve into the details of what those injuries are or how they are impacting you, and in fact should not do this.
6. Don’t Agree to Give a Recorded Statement (Unless Advised By Your Attorney)
If you have been asked to give a recorded statement, politely indicate that you do not consent to do so unless you have been counseled by your attorney to the contrary. This is because anything that you say could be used against you, and any inconsistencies or errors in your statement might be used to devalue your claim and offer you less than you deserve. This is a common tactic used by insurance companies to save money.
7. Ask About the Process
When you file your claim, be sure to ask the insurance adjuster to whom you’re speaking what you can expect moving forward. It’s important that the insurance company keeps you informed of the process and doesn’t unreasonably delay in proceeding with your claim. If they do, your rights may be being compromised.
8. Hire an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
One of the most important things to do after being involved in a serious car accident is to hire an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. Your lawyer can represent you in all conversations with an insurance company and can aggressively advocate for you to improve your chances of recovering the settlement you deserve.
At the office of Fisher & Talwar, we are here to help. Call our lawyers today or send us a message online to request your free, no-obligation consultation.