What to Never Say to Your Insurance Company After an Accident

When it comes to communicating with a representative from your insurance company after a car accident or when filing a claim, less is more. Similar to the “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” concept of criminal interrogation, you should generally refrain from saying anything you are not obligated to share with an insurance agent. The best practice is to always say exactly what happened from your perspective. 

There are, however, some things you should NEVER say. The following are five examples of things you should seek to avoid if you have to speak to an agent without an attorney being present:

  • Don’t say anything that would indicate fault on your part. Be sure to avoid the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize.” You might be used to uttering those words in embarrassing situations, and a car accident could certainly qualify as an embarrassing situation. However, uttering these few simple words can be seen as an admission of fault, and you may not have full information at the time you are speaking. For example, you may have genuinely believed you ran a light, but video evidence may show that you didn’t. You should generally avoid making statements of fault of any kind.
  • Don’t make uninformed statements on the state of anyone’s injuries. One of the biggest mistakes you can make right after a car accident or other event that can potentially cause injuries is saying that you did not sustain any harm. Even a simple “I’m ok” in response to a question from the other driver or an insurance adjuster can be taken out of context. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or even neck and back problems, arise days or weeks after the event. Getting payouts to cover injuries that they claim you initially denied can be exceedingly difficult. 
  • Don’t provide your analysis on what caused the wreck. Unless you are absolutely positive on the circumstances leading up to the accident (and even if you think you are, you don’t know what you don’t know), and it may seem clear to any outsider what happened, you should not speak on what you think happened. Insurance companies might invite speculation in order to get you to admit something that didn’t actually occur; resist this temptation. 
  • Don’t minimize the damage done to your vehicle or state that there was no damage done. Just as some injuries don’t present until well after the car accident, some types of damages are not initially apparent. Additionally, you should not brush off any damage to your car, even if you think it is purely cosmetic (like scuffed paint). 
  • Don’t say you will accept the first settlement offer. It is never advisable to give any indication that you will settle for any payout before you know the specific amount, let alone the first offer. Insurance companies are known to lowball claimants in the first round of negotiations. 

 

Conclusion

You should always avoid giving insurance company representatives more information than they need after a car accident. They are for-profit companies and their mission is to pay out as little as possible. If, however, you are worried that what you have said to any insurance company may have hurt your chances of an adequate settlement, call Carla D. Aikens, P.C. at 844-835-2993 to see how our firm can help. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients.