When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident often, and especially when this has never happened to you before, people will wonder what they should be doing. Most people know that you should collect the other driver’s insurance information, and take a picture of their license but where it starts to get more confusing is when the other driver’s insurance tries to contact you. It is not uncommon for the other driver’s insurer to try to contact you to get a statement regarding the accident. There are even instances of insurers attempting to get a statement while accident victims are undergoing treatment in the hospital with severe injuries. The question then is should you be giving a statement to the other driver’s insurer?
You Should Not Give a Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurer
Generally, you should not speak to the defendant’s insurer in most cases. While you may hear otherwise you do not have an obligation to give a statement to the other driver’s insurer. Moreover acquiescing and giving a statement can result in the insurer getting admissions that can be damaging to any personal injury case you may wish to pursue. You can be asked questions of all sorts that may seem innocuous but can have serious detrimental effects on your ability to bring a successful lawsuit. Questions may relate to the injuries you’ve sustained and their severity, to time missed from work, or to the circumstances of the accident. They may ask you questions in such a manner that they can frame them and spin them to their advantage. They may for example try to get you to say that your injuries are not that severe. This is a key reason why it is a good idea to retain a lawyer. After retaining a lawyer the defendant’s insurer can no longer contact you regarding the case.
The insurer may also attempt to get you to sign over medical documents to assess settlement. The releases of said medical records may be on terms far in excess of what would be reasonable for the purposes of a personal injury action.
What if I Have Spoken to the Defendant’s Insurer?
If you have spoken to the defendant’s insurer that does not mean that your case is necessarily not worth pursuing. On the contrary, your statement may not even have harmed your case depending on what specifically was said. To ensure peace of mind you should contact a lawyer and inform them of the circumstances. This is simply another challenge to overcome as you go through the litigation process but is far from an insurmountable obstacle.
What if I Have Signed Over Access to Medical Information?
If you have signed over access to your medical information that is again not something that will completely destroy your case. Lawyers will generally revoke access to such records upon being retained. The lawyer is then free to disclose the appropriate information after having reviewed it. Filtering the ability to determine relevant medical records through your lawyer can be key to being able to launch a successful personal injury claim.
What About With Regards to Property Damage?
You may have to negotiate with a collision adjuster from the defendant’s insurer if your accident occurred before January 1, 2022. If your accident occurred after this you will have no reason to speak to the defendant’s insurer regarding property damage.
What if my Insurance and the Defendant’s Insurance Are The Same Company?
In the event, that both parties have the same insurance company you should clarify who you are talking to before speaking about the accident with the insurer. You may speak to your accident benefits adjuster and collision adjuster for your policy. You should not speak to a bodily injury adjuster or a collision adjuster for the other policy. If you have confusion it is not a bad idea to contact a lawyer.
Where Can I Go For Assistance?
If you need assistance regarding any information you have provided to the other driver’s insurance, and are seeking to bring a personal injury claim, contact James H. Brown & Associates today! We are Alberta’s precedent-setting law firm, we have decades of experience in our office and are ready to fight for you! Call us today at 780-428-0088 for your free consultation! We can help!