Feb 15, 2024 Michael M. Day Law Firm

What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Contacts Me?

When you’ve been injured after a car accident, slip and fall, animal attack or other incident, the person who is responsible probably expects their insurance company to handle the situation. That makes sense since we buy insurance to protect us from losses.

For their part, however, insurance companies don’t quite see things the same way. They might handle the claim, but their method of handling it might involve doing whatever they can to avoid paying the claim. After all, insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and they make more money when they pay out as little as possible.

So the bottom line is that insurance adjusters and investigators will be looking for ways to deny a claim or reduce the value of the claim. They have even been known to delay claims for so long that the statute of limitations passes and the victim loses their right to seek compensation.

You do not want to give the insurance company any ammunition they can use against you to undervalue or deny your claim for damages. That means you must be extremely careful about what you say and do in the days following an injury. Insurance company representatives may try to pressure you into making a statement or answering questions, but you are not legally required to talk to them, and you do not need to follow their agenda. Here’s what to do instead.

Tell Them to Talk to Your Lawyer

The safest—and easiest–thing to do when the insurance company contacts you about a claim is to refer them to your attorney. Allow your legal professional to advocate on your behalf. Attorneys are trained to spot the tricks insurance companies use to devalue claims, and they are not likely to be caught off guard. They know that certain statements can be used against you, even if taken out of context.

Your lawyer can supply the information needed by the insurance company while refraining from sharing information that could be used to deny or reduce the value of your claim. Relying on your legal advisor to communicate on your behalf is one of the best ways to protect your claim. 

Personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, so you pay them based on results rather than the time they spend assisting you. By hiring an attorney early on and taking advantage of all the assistance your attorney can provide, you are getting the best value for your money because you’ll get more service for the same legal fees.

Get Information from Them

If you want to be polite, or you aren’t ready to hire an attorney, you can take advantage of the opportunity to collect information for yourself before you provide any information to them. You can ask for the full name of the insurance company and the name of the representative, as well as their title and contact information. You should write down the information, taking the time to get the spelling right so there can be no misunderstandings later when you share this information with your attorney.

When you’ve finished asking your questions, and they start asking theirs, try to give them as little information as possible. You can furnish your name, phone number, and address—which they already have anyway. You can give them the date and time of the incident, but you don’t need to volunteer any other information, including the name of your insurance company or details about the accident or your injuries. Write down notes about anything you talk about so you can inform your attorney later. Consistency is very important, so if you tell them a collision occurred at 111 Main Street, and your attorney later lists the address of the accident as 113 Main Street, they may insist that you are unreliable.

At the end of the conversation, inform the insurance company that they should not call you again, but you can say that you will contact them.

You Are Under No Obligation to Speak to the Other Person’s Insurance Company

Remember that no matter how friendly and helpful an insurance representative seems to be, they are not your friend and they are not going to be helpful. They will be working to collect information to be used against you and you do not have to give them that information. In fact, you are not legally obliged to say anything to them at all. They know that, but they may pressure you to talk anyway.

If you were in a motor vehicle accident, you can be certain that there will be communication between your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company. When you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer, your attorney will understand when to contact the insurance company and what to say.

In situations where your injuries stem from a collision involving your vehicle, you will need to report the accident to your own insurance company. You can provide a little more information to your company, but you want to carefully avoid saying anything that could be speculation rather than fact. You don’t know for certain what caused the accident at this point, and you don’t know the full extent of anyone’s injuries, including your own. If your insurance company asks what happened, tell them you will provide a written statement. Then your lawyer can work with you to write up a statement that avoids potentially problematic issues.

What to Avoid at All Costs

If the charm of an insurance representative keeps you on the phone, here are some steps to avoid at all costs:

  • Do not allow anyone to record you.
  • Do not say, “I’m fine,” even if you just mean it as a polite conversation. The insurance company can argue that your statement means you are not hurt.
  • Do not say you’re sorry even if you feel bad for someone. The insurance company can take this as an admission of guilt.
  • Do not engage in friendly conversation.

Remember, the insurance company is trying to trick you into saying the wrong thing. Don’t give them the opportunity.

Let Michael M. Day Talk to the Insurance Company Instead

At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, we understand how to communicate effectively with insurance companies and all the best steps to take to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve after an accident. We fight relentlessly to secure the right damage award to compensate you for the suffering, pain, and costs as well as funds to provide for your future needs. For a free case evaluation and consultation, call 404-480-4284 or contact us online today.