After a car accident, there are a lot of things to take care of. You will probably need to get medical attention to make sure you are okay. You might miss some time at work, either due to all the phone calls, trying to get your car repaired, doctor’s appointments, or just due to pain from the auto crash. Also, you will probably be worried about how to get all of it paid for. Insurance adjusters know all of this, and they know that you are desperate to move on with your life. They are trained to identify your weaknesses and get you to admit things or sign things before you have had time to fully think it through. A Long Island car accident lawyer can help you better understand your rights following an accident so that you can recover compensation for your injuries. Here are a few of the most important things you should say (or not say) to insurance adjusters.
DO NOT Admit Fault
New York is a so-called “no-fault” state, meaning that every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own minor injuries, in the event of a crash. Insurance adjusters for the other driver may tell you that fault does not matter. They may explain that since New York is no-fault, it does not really matter who caused the wreck, so you can feel free to tell them everything. This is a lie. Do not admit fault. No-fault does not mean that fault is irrelevant. If you have severe injuries after an accident, you may still have a right to be compensated by the person who hurt you, and the insurance company knows it.
DO NOT Discuss Your Injuries After a Car Accident
Again, insurance adjusters are trained to look for any way possible to avoid paying for injuries after a car accident. Discussing a past injury or crash may trigger an unusual interest in your unrelated medical history. Insurance companies often use this to demand that you sign healthcare releases, giving them access to all of your medical history. This gives them way more information than they should have, plus it may give them the information they need in order to deny your claim.
DO NOT Give a Recorded Statement
This is tricky because most insurance companies have a provision in the policy contract that says you must give a recorded statement if you are in a crash. The key here is that this is a contract between you and your insurance company. So, you may need to give your own insurance company a statement, but you should consult with an attorney first. The other insurance company does not have an absolute right to take your recorded statement. Your Long Island personal injury lawyer can help you understand this process. If you end up suing the other driver, then you will likely have to give a deposition under oath, but your attorney will be present, and there will be important protections and rules in place to ensure the fairness and legality of the process. A recorded statement given to an insurance adjuster is often a free-for-all.
DO Tell Them the Name of Your Long Island Car Accident Attorney
When the other driver’s insurance company calls to ask you for a statement, be sure to let them know that you are consulting with legal counsel, and you will have your Long Island accident attorney contact them shortly. Get the adjuster’s name, the claim number, a direct telephone number if possible, and any other information they are willing to give you. Next, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP 24/7 or call us at(516) 358-6900 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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