Dealing With Insurance Following a DC Car Accident
Recorded statements to insurance companies in and of themselves are not always bad. However, it is important for the injured person to consult with a DC car accident attorney and understand the questions that may be asked of them and appreciate the repercussions of making any statements.
The danger in providing a recorded statement is because that recorded statement will be transcribed and will be provided to the defense. If a person does not understand or appreciate the questions that are being asked to them, then they can say the wrong thing or use the wrong term when either describing the accident or describing the nature and extent of their injury.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies contact everyone involved in a motor vehicle collision as soon as the insurance company receives notice that a collision occurred. Both companies, assuming it is a two-vehicle collision, will reach out to everyone involved in the collision as soon as they learn that there has been a collision and try to collect as much information as possible regarding how the collision occurred, where the collision occurred, what the circumstances were surrounding the collision, and what the claimed injuries were at that time.
This information is collected for the sole purpose of defending a claim further on down the road. If a recorded statement is requested or taken the day immediately following a motor vehicle collision, an injured person may not be considering asserting a claim for personal injuries at that time, and therefore they may not appreciate the ramifications of the information that they provide during all recorded statements.
Insurance companies handle claims constantly and know how to get the information they want. They deal with multiple new claims every single day, whereas a person injured in a motor vehicle collision may have never been involved in an accident before.
Insurance companies are skilled at being polite and courteous to everyone involved in motor vehicle accidents and they contact everyone under the guise that they are collecting information about how it happened. Some insurance companies will go so far as to indicate that they are collecting the recorded statements to expedite compensation for the injured person.
A person with a bad injury may have a significant claim but the insurance company may be willing to offer the person $2,000, $5,000, or even $10,000 within a day or two of the accident when, in fact, the claim is worth a few hundred thousand dollars and the insurance company may want to get out of it cheap, and quick, and easy. It is always best before anything substantive occurs for an injured person to consult with an attorney to discuss potential mistakes dealing with insurance companies following accidents, such as recorded statements.
If a car accident occurs and there is a clear case of liability and a potentially serious injury, then an insurance company may be willing to offer quick and easy compensation to someone who is very vulnerable. They may take it out of convenience without appreciating the fact that this is the one and only time they can be compensated for their injuries and that if something gets worse or goes wrong down the road, then they would be precluded or barred from asserting any additional claims should they take this money in the interim.
If they consult with an attorney, the attorney can advise them about this common insurance interaction mistake in DC accident cases. But, when a check is offered, it is offered in exchange for a full and complete release of any and all liability, which would preclude the injured person from asserting a claim for any further damages or bringing a lawsuit. These are very important issues that should be addressed with an attorney before anything substantive occurs.