After a car accident, you'll likely receive a call from the other driver's insurance company. Although it might seem like there's no harm in answering a few questions when asked, this is a bad idea.
Understanding Your Obligations Following a Car Accident
Legally speaking, you have an obligation to help your own car insurance company process the claim. You are required to answer questions about the accident, let an agent inspect your vehicle, and provide any requested documentation needed to obtain a settlement. However, you are not required to provide anything beyond the basic facts and should avoid speculating as to the severity of your injuries or any concerns you have regarding your own liability for the collision.
When it comes to speaking to the other driver's insurance company, you have no legal obligation to cooperate. In fact, it's almost always against your best interests to do so. The other driver's insurance company will likely try to prove you contributed to the accident, so the amount of damages they'll be required to pay is reduced. Anything you say, even if it sounds harmless to you, could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Under no circumstances should you provide a written or recorded statement without first consulting an attorney.
Letting Your Attorney Advocate for Your Rights
Regarding post-accident communication, it's best to refer all requests from the other driver's insurance company to your attorney. The laws surrounding liability for accident damages can be complex, but an attorney who has extensive experience in these types of cases can sort through the red tape on your behalf. Let your attorney worry about negotiating a fair settlement, and direct your attention to fully recovering from your injuries.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is dedicated to assisting Louisiana residents who have been injured by negligent drivers in obtaining the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Please complete our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can be of assistance.