When a driver is involved in a car crash caused by another driver, they often make the error of calling either their insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver right away. This can actually cause issues with any damages they may be entitled to for their injuries since insurance companies are notorious for looking for ways to avoid paying victims what they deserve.
The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been helping accident victims for more than three decades and understands how shaken up a car accident victim can be following the crash. It is not uncommon for injured victims to be distracted by their injuries and not think properly. This makes them very vulnerable to the tactics that are used by insurance companies to avoid paying claims.
The following are some of the most common types of tricks that insurance companies will try and are why accident victims should contact a Virginia car accident attorney for legal help.
The Insurance Company Calls the Victim Immediately Following the Crash
Many insurance companies will contact the victim the next day – or even just a few hours – following the crash. An injured victim is often suffering from pain, could be on pain medication, or is even still in the hospital at this point. The goal of the insurance adjuster is to catch the victim off guard before they have an opportunity to speak with a car accident insurance for legal advice. This is why your first phone call following a crash, and before speaking with any insurance company, should be with an attorney. If you are physically unable to contact an attorney because of your injuries, have a trusted family member or friend call.
Tricking the Victim into Accepting Responsibility for the Crash
It is critical to remember that the other driver’s insurance company is not on your side. Despite how friendly and concerned the adjuster may sound, their goal is to pay you the least amount – or zero – of compensation possible. They will ask questions and try to manipulate the conversation in a way that you could unknowingly admit blame for the accident. The insurance company already has a copy of the police report from the crash, which includes both drivers’ statements of the crash. They do not need any more information from you that your car accident attorney cannot provide them.
Insisting the Victim Needs to Provide a Recorded Statement
Another tactic insurance companies use is to insist the victim makes a recorded statement immediately following the crash. It is during this recorded statement that they are doing their best to get you to admit some kind of fault for the crash. Even an innocent statement such as, “I’m sorry the crash happened,” could legally jeopardize your claim. It is best to have your Virginia injury attorney handle all communication with the insurance company.
Insisting That the Victim Wasn’t Injured After the Accident
It is not uncommon for car accident victims not to realize they have been injured immediately after the crash because of delayed symptoms. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks before there are signs of an injury, such as a herniated disc, and the victim then seeks medical treatment. The insurance company could use this delay to claim that the victim was injured some other way after the accident. This is why even if a person does not think they have been injured, they should still seek medical attention right away.
Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
If you have been injured in an accident, do not try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. Let one of our dedicated Virginia car accident attorneys work on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of your case. We’ll focus on dealing with the insurance company while you focus on your recovery. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.