Immediately after an accident, your world may be in chaos. You may be in pain, concerned for the well-being of your passengers and frustrated about the disruption of your plans. Though the police, medical responders and the other driver may all bombard you with questions, it may be difficult to think clearly and remember the important things you must do following an accident.
If your vehicle suffered damage and you need medical care, one of the actions you must remember to do is contact your insurance company to report your accident. Minnesota’s no-fault insurance means that you do not have to deal with the other driver’s policy. However, this does not always mean the process will be easier.
A delicate balance
Reporting your accident to the insurer can be a tricky matter. There is certain information you must relay, but you should be careful to avoid saying other things that may complicate or damage your claim. Of course, the insurer will need basic information, such as your name and policy number, when the accident occurred, the driver’s license and plate numbers for any drivers involved, and an overview of the accident.
However, you should watch what you say. Even the most innocent slip of the tongue may work against you. For example, the agent with whom you speak may ask how you are. Out of politeness, if you answer that you are fine, the agent may assume that your injuries are not serious. To avoid mistakes when speaking to the insurer, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Do not describe your physical condition until your doctor has examined you and confirmed the extent of your injuries.
- Never agree to providing written or recorded statements until you obtain legal counsel.
- Reply to an adjuster’s questions as briefly as possible, and do not engage in small talk.
- Reveal only the facts of the accident without exaggeration or commentary.
- Do not accept a quick settlement, especially if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries or the long-term care you may need.
Perhaps the most prudent course of action is to avoid speaking with the insurer at all. Instead, you can allow your attorney to handle any interactions with an adjuster. A Minnesota attorney with skill and experience will know the tactics insurance companies often use to minimize a legitimate claim settlement. By allowing a lawyer to advocate for you, you may have a better chance of obtaining a fair settlement that will help you get back on your feet and back on the road.