Ideally, you walk away from a car crash unscathed. If that isn’t the case, then you now face a host of issues. Among them is dealing with insurance.
First, keep in mind, that you are not legally required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company – even if they reach out to you. Beyond that, it generally is not in your interest to speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
On the other hand and without regard to whether or not you were at fault in the crash, you will typically need to report the crash and cooperate with your insurance company.
What to do – and what not to do
A few do’s and don’ts for when you do speak with your insurance company.
- Don’t guess about anything! Nobody has a perfect memory, especially following an unexpected, sudden and sometimes very dramatic experience. If you don’t know or don’t remember, then just say so.
- Don’t volunteer information. Instead, listen carefully to what you are being asked and only answer that question…if you know the answer (see above).
- Don’t accept blame or apologize. Even if you think you are at fault, there may be mitigating factors or other information that you don’t know. Instead, just stick to what you know, answer only the questions asked of you…and see above.
- Don’t close the door and say you are “fine.” It’s very common to feel okay in the immediate aftermath of a crash. Protect yourself from the possibility that you may start feeling worse in a couple of days by saying that you “aren’t sure yet…it’s too soon to know.” (And remember that in Florida, you must seek medical care no later than 14 days from the crash date in order to be able to access your No-Fault insurance benefits that help pay for accident-related medical care).
- Don’t report you have “whiplash” – it’s a word with a negative connotation, if your neck is injured. Better to say your neck “hurts” or that your neck is “sore, stiff, hurts to move.”
Consider seeking professional representation
Finally, remember there are many details and nuances associated with accidents and you may want to speak with an attorney before you speak to anyone else. Most injury attorneys offer free initial consultations and can offer additional guidance on how to proceed.