When someone makes a statement, it could end up being used against them during a case. Clients encounter this problem frequently in situations where they talk to an insurance adjuster after an accident. The client answers simple questions and agrees to statements that end up haunting them later in court.
This is not to say that these cases cannot still be won, but rather that they become more difficult to pursue since the defendant’s side gains strength. The goal of people facing personal injury damages is to spin the narrative in their favor. Insurance companies will gladly take any mitigating factors into account to do so.
So, any time you are being asked questions after an injury or during a lawsuit, keep your answers brief, polite and with as minimal information as possible. You can even request to withhold information until you have an attorney present. Then, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can to start your case.
What to Do When Approached by an Insurance Adjuster or Lawyer After an Accident
When you have been injured, the other party will almost certainly be nervous about the prospect of you bringing forth a lawsuit. Their insurance carrier will likely dispatch an adjuster to you in response. They may even contact you while you are in the hospital, when your are still feeling woozy from pain or medication.
Your first goal is to never assume anything about their identity. Get their full name, business address and contact number as well as the insurer, person or business they represent. Cooperate only to the extent that you provide your own full name, address and telephone number. Revealing any other details, such as where you work or what your schedule was could later affect potential litigation.
Never Describe the Accident Except to Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Some people may let some details slip or confirm details that the adjuster already suspected. These disclosures are not necessarily problematic, but almost any discussion of the incident certainly would be.
Never answer questions about details of the accident or provide a statement as to your point of view. Instead, kindly state that you are conducting your own investigation of the accident and you will only disclose these details at the appropriate time.
You may be required to disclose information to your own insurer, but be wary of signing any documents releasing them to gather their own information. As for the other adjuster, you can provide extremely basic details of the accident at most: confirm the date, time, rough location and potentially any vehicles involved.
Remember: the more information you provide, the higher the chance of them alleging a contradictory statement later. Do not disclose the identities or contact information of potential witnesses, and definitely do not describe your injuries in any detail. Until you receive a full medical diagnosis from a qualified physician, you will not even know the extent of your injuries.
Keep Conversations Limited and Never Agree to or Sign Anything from Other Parties
Writing your signature on documents severely limits your options and could even release others from liability. To protect your right to fair compensation, involve a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. They will help you investigate the extent of the case, including full medical details and the nature of the incident or accident in question. By controlling flow of information, you can enhance your control over your case’s outcome.