Going through a car accident in Baton Rouge is generally a trying and traumatic experience, no matter the circumstances.
Everything that you do after the car accident will have bearing on the outcome for your finances and well-being.
After an accident, you’ll need to get your car fixed in a timely and non-disruptive manner and make sure you haven’t suffered serious injuries. You should also discuss the matter with an attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected.
You should also initiate a conversation with your insurance company about the accident. This blog provides some tips and information on how to do so carefully if your attorney is not with you for these conversations.
Car accident insurance company discussion do’s and don’ts
Saying the wrong thing during conversations with your car insurance company following an accident could mean accidentally admitting fault. And when you admit fault, you could be forced to shoulder the financial burden of paying deductibles and possibly increased insurance premiums for many years.
So if you must have a conversation with an insurance company (either your own insurance provider or the other driver’s provider), here’s how to handle the matter:
- Provide your personal information, such as name, address and phone number you can be reached at.
- Avoid discussing the car accident details. The insurance company will conduct an investigation, including pulling the police report and talking to other drivers involved.
- Do not admit fault. By not discussing the details of the accident, you should be able to avoid any traps the insurance company might use to catch you admitting fault.
- If asked how you’re feeling, defer to the question to your doctor or just say you can’t discuss the matter. Even if you feel fine at the moment, you might experience injuries later on and you don’t want to be on the record as saying you were not injured.
- Never agree to a recorded statement when your attorney is not present. Tell the insurance company they’ll need to wait until you have discussed the matter with legal counsel.
- Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, no matter how good it might seem on the surface. Wait and discuss the matter with your attorney. There are many nuances to how settlements are calculated, and you should never be forced to accept an offer on the spot.
Recovering financially from a car accident in Baton Rouge
It’s crucial that you do not admit fault or give out details to the insurance company without legal counsel. This is important for three main reasons:
- The at-fault party will need to pay their insurance deductible following an accident.
- Additionally, the accident might have bearing on the at-fault party’s insurance premium for several years.
- Furthermore, it could be harder to seek a personal injury settlement for the accident if you are deemed the at-fault party.
You’ve probably heard of the Miranda rights that police read when they are arresting someone. Officers tell them that anything they say and do can be used against them. The same is true in the aftermath of a car accident in Baton Rouge.
What you say on the scene of the accident can be used against you in the police report and witness accounts. The statements you make to your insurance company can also be used against you, even though it might seem like your insurance company should have your best interests at heart.
Most personal injury lawyers do not collect fees unless they win a settlement for their client. So from a financial perspective, there is no set back to discussing the matter with an attorney.
However, foregoing an attorney could have significant impacts on your financials both in the expense of the accident and in the expense of your car insurance.
Contact Pierce & Shows
Before you contact your insurance company, contact our team at Pierce & Shows to retain legal counsel. We’ll guide you through the car accident claim process, helping you look out for red flags and working towards the compensation you deserve.