Following a car accident, you may have many questions about your rights and what you need to do next. One question at the top of your list: should you talk to the insurance company?

After a car accident, you need to take three critical steps:

  • Report the accident to the police by calling 911
  • Seek medical attention
  • Report the accident to your auto insurance company

You do not have to contact the other driver’s insurance company. After a minor fender bender, your insurance company will take care of that for you. After a more serious accident, you may need to deal with the other driver’s insurance company directly, especially if you suffered severe injuries and need to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

What Happens If the Insurance Company Contacts You?

In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may call you for a report regarding what led to the accident. In order to file a personal injury claim against that driver’s insurance, you will need to prove that the other driver caused your accident. In some cases, that may prove incredibly difficult, especially if you have no evidence from the scene of the accident or witness statements vary.

Talk to an attorney before accepting a call from the insurance company. An attorney can better advise you about how to proceed with any statement that you need to make, take over negotiations on your behalf, or even help you decide how to handle your claim. You may also need to work with an attorney to help you better understand the compensation you really deserve from the accident.

What Does the Insurance Company Want to Accomplish?

The representative you speak with from the insurance company may say that he has called to take a statement about the accident. He wants to know what led to the accident, including any evidence you may have. He may encourage you to speak up about what caused or contributed to your accident. During the conversation, he may attempt to accomplish several things.

1. He may try to trip you up.

If you make a statement before talking to your attorney, you may find yourself making statements you did not intend to make. For example, he may try to catch you saying that you may have contributed to the accident in some way. Often, insurance adjusters will try to convince you to take at least partial responsibility for an accident, which may reduce the company’s financial liability following your accident.

Sometimes, you may trip over your tongue due to Southern politeness. Many people end up trained to say, “Oh, that’s okay,” or to make an excuse that also accepts liability for an event. For example, following your accident, you might admit that you did not really pay attention, or that your speed had crept too high.

2. He may try to pick up details you did not intend to provide through small talk.

Imagine a common scenario. The insurance adjuster makes some small talk. “How are you doing?” he asks.

“Busy,” you admit. “It seems like my phone never stops ringing.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, I swear, my text message alert goes off every five minutes.”

Suddenly, the insurance adjuster has grounds to suggest that your distraction behind the wheel may have contributed to the accident. Likewise, if you admit that you have lost sleep recently due to work responsibilities or kids, he may try to claim that drowsiness may have caused you to contribute to the accident.

The insurance adjuster may also listen for you to talk about activities that you participated in over the past little while. Suppose, for example, that you suffered several broken bones in the accident. In addition to claiming compensation for medical expenses related to the accident, you may include compensation for pain and suffering in your claim. Your claim may include missed opportunities and activities: lost social relationships, for example. An attempt to sound upbeat—for example, “Oh, I have friends coming over for a game night tonight!”—may make it appear as though you have suffered less social isolation than you initially claimed.

An insurance adjuster will listen carefully to everything that you have to say to look for ways to minimize your compensation. Sometimes, you may not even realize that something you have said may minimize the compensation you can receive. Often, it falls under the category of small talk: something you do not think twice about saying, even to a stranger. Unfortunately, it can have far-reaching implications for your claim.

3. The insurance adjuster may try to convince you to accept a low settlement offer.

Many insurance adjusters will try to convince you to accept a low settlement offer instead of providing you with the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Your compensation may get limited by the terms of the policy, but it should not end up limited by a fast settlement that does not reflect your needs. Often, however, an insurance adjuster will put pressure on you to accept a fast settlement. The adjuster may try to convince you that you need to accept a fast offer before it “goes away,” or play on your very real fears that it will take a long time to settle your claim. With medical bills rising, you may find yourself struggling to come up with the money you need, and you may give in to pressure to accept an offer instead of taking the time to negotiate a claim.

By talking to an attorney, on the other hand, you can get a much better idea of the compensation you really deserve for the injuries sustained in your accident. An attorney cannot guarantee the compensation you ultimately receive or that an insurance company will offer, but he can provide you with a better look at how much compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Furthermore, understanding the intricacies of car accidents is crucial. For instance, did you know that there are specific safety precautions to consider when driving with a baby? Or that the consequences of distracted driving can be severe and long-lasting? There are also numerous factors that can contribute to a car accident, making it essential to be well-informed. For a lighter take, you can also explore some fun articles related to car accidents. Moreover, understanding insurance claims can be a game-changer in ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

If you sustained serious injuries in a car accident, you should always speak to an attorney before talking to the other party’s insurance company. Alvendia Kelly & Demarest can help. Contact us today at 504-200-0000 for a free case review.

In 2003, after being dissatisfied with the quality of legal care for victims of car accidents, Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia sought to establish a new firm focused on providing high-quality legal services to aid injured victims and their families. J. Bart Kelly, sharing Rico’s passion for upholding justice, joined the firm later that year, and established a partnership.

  • They helped me with every need possible. The back issues I had could have been much worse if they didn’t step in and help me. Bart, Megan, and all the people that work for this legal team are amazing. I would recommend them to anyone. Thank you all for helping me each step of the way. I can’t thank these people enough.

    - T. Gibson-Warren

  • I want to thank the whole team for all your help and persistence with my settlement. I truly appreciate.

    - A. Alfortish

  • Great experiences every time I need you guys. I always recommend your firm.

    - W. Young

  • Bart and his team were wonderful to work with. It was clear that their vision and determination to fight for our case, is why we were able to reach a settlement, where my previous attorney was not.

    - C. Perez

  • Bart Kelly and his legal team reevaluated my case after another attorney backed away from a legal challenge, I just want to say Thank You to mr kelly and his team for the hard work and dedication to my case to make it successful . Thank You

    - N. Gex

  • Attorney Kelly is an impeccable attorney. He has represented me extremely well. I was very, very, very pleased with the outcome of my settlement. He’s highly recommended … to give assistance to anyone. I thank him for his services and I’m super elated over the way he handled the case. He is a phenomenal lawyer.

    - S. Spears

  • I’ve learned the importance of having good coverage insurance, thanks to Mr. Kelly explaining everything to me. We do not hope or wait for accidents, but rest assured that I will call Mr. Kelly again if I need his services. Thank you.

    - Ann Zimmer

  • Being represented by Mr. Kelly and his legal team was a very awesome experience. They were very patient and they worked really hard in resolving my case. I would most definitely refer them to all my friends and associates. Thank you very much.

    - Nathaniel Bonney

  • I am very grateful for Mr. Bart’s assistance. He was very professional and fair. I never felt like a client with him. I always felt like a close friend. Also, I would like to thank everyone in the office for being friendly, kind, and for helping me.

    - Glac Mantuso

  • Just want to say thanks a lot because I received way more than I expected. You guys did a wonderful job of getting the max for myself and my family. Everyone I met or spoke to on the phone was really professional and nice. Once again, thanks a lot.

    - Jessica Quinn

  • J. Bart Kelly is the best attorney I have ever met. He is intelligent, caring, understanding, and knows how to protect his clients. I love his strong take-charge attitude to fight for what is right.

    - Teri Haas

  • My lawyer took the time to explain everything in a clear and concise manner. I’ve been treated fairly and with the utmost respect. I am very appreciative of all of the staff at AKD for their services.

    - James Barber

  • I am grateful for the way that my case was handled. Thanks.

    - Darryl Hill

  • Thanks to Bart and Meg. Fantastic group of people and team. Love you guys.

    - Claudine Hope

  • I was involved in a terrible accident and had a lot of serious injuries. I was so happy that Bart (and his team, including his nurse paralegal) was my attorney. The results were much more than expected as far as the settlement. Thanks.

    - Karen Bourgeois

  • I received exceptional service from the law office of Bart Kelly. He is a great attorney who cares about what you are going through, and I am very pleased with the outcome.

    - Melissa Sanchez

View all