A car accident is an emotional experience. Immediately after the crash, you will be shocked and upset. You will need to deal with police reports and medical care. You will also need to call your insurance agent and report your accident, but be careful what you say to your insurance adjuster.
This is an emotional time, but we recommend that you try to calm down before calling. What you say matters. Our personal injury lawyers have identified five common mistakes that could cost your Pennsylvania accident claim.
Mistake #1: Saying “I’m sorry.” Anything that sounds like an apology also sounds like an admission of fault. These words could reduce your insurance settlement. It could even leave you responsible for someone else’s injuries.
Mistake #2: Explaining the cause of the accident. Tell the adjuster that you were in a crash. Don’t elaborate or try to explain how the accident happened. They can use anything you say against you. Instead, tell the adjuster that any additional information is in the police report.
Mistake #3: Saying “I am fine.” If you are like most of us, when someone asks “How are you?”, you automatically answer “fine.” This is a common insurance company tactic. But the agent can take that as meaning you have no injury. Instead of giving details, give an honest yet vague answer like “I could be better.”
Mistake #4: Agreeing to release medical records. When you sign a release for your medical records, you may be giving the insurance company permission to examine your entire medical history. Talk to an attorney before signing paperwork.
Mistake #5: Accepting the initial settlement. Your agent might quickly make you an offer. It sounds like a good amount, so you think I really lucked out when I chose my insurance. Think again.
Insurance companies are businesses that must report to investors. If the insurance agent is offering a quick settlement, it is because they know your Pennsylvania accident claim will be worth much more. Settling before you know the extent of your injuries could leave you with thousands in unpaid medical bills. Always speak to a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer.
- Give your insurance agent the facts.
- Don’t offer additional information.
- Don’t sign anything until you’ve spoken to you’ve called Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers.
Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers offers free case evaluations. If you have a question about the value of your case, give us a call.