You get into a car accident in Michigan. You have a lot going on. Thoughts are racing through your mind. Who is going to pay for the damage to my car? What about my medical bills? What about my injuries?
Then during this all this confusion, the insurance company for the guy who caused the crash calls you. The person on the other end of the call sounds calm and helpful. They say they just want to help you and assist in getting information about the crash. But are they there to assist you? Do they really care about your injuries? Or are their allegiances to the company they work for and the policyholder they represent?
One of the biggest mistakes I see clients make early on right after a Michigan car accident, slip-and-fall accident, or some other incident is agreeing to a conversation with the insurance representative from the other side before talking to a lawyer.
Insurance adjusters or claims handlers have gotten extremely aggressive in recent years at reaching out to a potential claimant immediately after an accident occurs. They do this because they are paid to limit the risk or exposure their employer may have following a car crash or some other incident that led to a personal injury.
Their allegiance is to their own company. They are there to help minimize the amount of money they may have to pay to you, the injured person, in the future.
Now within 24-hours after an incident, an insurance adjuster will call the injured person and ask them to make a statement about what happened. They get the phone number for the injured person from the police report prepared following a car or truck accident, or from the incident report prepared by the store where the slip and fall occurred.
The phone conversation is then often recorded so the insurance company can “box-in” the injured person. The claims representative will ask questions about liability, how the incident occurred, injuries, pain levels, past medical treatment and future medical treatment.
The conversation will often be one sided, with the insurance representative asking leading questions such as “you are not that hurt are you” or “the impact with the other vehicle wasn’t that bad was it.” These statements can then be used against the injured person at a later date, such as during litigation when the injured person tries to paint a more accurate picture of how the incident occurred and how they were injured.
And they do this right after the accident, when the injured person is emotional and vulnerable.
So what should you after a car accident when you get this dreaded call. And make no mistake, you will get the call. The answer is simple. Don’t talk to them. Do not say a word. And instead of talking to them, call a lawyer immediately. When you talk to a lawyer, explain what happened in detail. Explain how the accident occurred and the pain when are in. If there is a case to pursue, again do not talk to the insurance adjuster. I would advise you to get representation for your injuries so you can achieve the best outcome. You don’t want to leave anything on the table so to speak.
Remember, insurance adjusters are there to save their employer money. That means paying you or any injured person the least amount of compensation possible. All the information they ask is to achieve that one goal.
If you have any questions about a Michigan car accident, slip-and-fall, medical malpractice, or any other type of personal injury claim, please call the Michigan personal injury lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-7333).
The phone call is free and we never charge a penny until we win your case. Our team of experienced Michigan personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and provide much needed guidance during a scary and daunting time.