There is often a lot of uncertainty after a car accident or other types of personal injury accidents. However, one thing you can be certain of is that the insurance company is not on your side. They will look for reasons to deny or devalue your claim and try to trick you into saying things that hurt your credibility.
Below, review some of the kinds of statements you should avoid making when talking to the insurance company. Statements like these could be used against you to say you were at fault for the accident or minimize the severity of your injuries, which can hurt the value of your potential case.
You can allow a Richmond personal injury lawyer to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates have recovered millions on behalf of accident victims and have many years of combined experience dealing with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. Learn more by scheduling a free legal consultation.
‘I Will Be OK’
Saying you will be OK or that you feel fine could be disastrous for your claim. Even if you do not feel much pain or other symptoms, you should avoid saying how you feel. Some injuries can take hours or days to cause symptoms you will notice.
If you say you are OK after the accident, the insurance company will likely point this out as evidence you are not injured, or your injuries are not as severe as doctors claim. Even if the insurance company does not deny your claim, they may use your statements as a reason to offer a small amount of compensation.
Let your medical records and your doctor’s notes do the talking about your injuries.
‘It Was My Fault’
It is possible you are partially at fault for what happened. Then again, there may be things about the accident you do not know. Witnesses may have had a better view of what happened and provide information that helps confirm another party is at fault.
In Virginia, you cannot be even one percent at fault for an accident or you will be ineligible to seek compensation. Virginia applies a harsh contributory negligence law.
It is better to discuss the situation with an attorney to find out if you may still have a case.
‘I Was in a Rush’
You may have been in a rush when your accident occurred. However, that may have no bearing on why the accident occurred. You should not provide any information to the insurance company that is unnecessary.
In fact, you do not need to get into a lot of details about what happened. You can simply say an accident happened and you have sought medical treatment. You can even say the date, time and location of the crash. Saying anything more could potentially hurt your claim.
‘I Am Sorry’
Accident victims have a tendency to think they are at fault or simply apologize to others about the accident. While this may be a natural human tendency, you should avoid these kinds of statements as they could be used by insurers to claim you are to blame for the accident. Given the state’s harsh contributory negligence law, you do not want to make it easier for the insurance company to deny your claim.
‘I Am Not Sure’ or ‘I Think That is What Happened’
If you are unsure about something, you do not have to discuss it. It is better not to say anything than to say something that may be contradicted later. If you are unsure about something, talk to your attorney about it. Those conversations are confidential and bound by attorney-client privilege. Your lawyer can also investigate to uncover more information that may help clarify things you are unsure of.
‘Sure, You Can Record My Statement’
You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement, particularly at the beginning of the legal process. Once you give a recorded statement, your claim may be limited by what you said. If you give a recorded statement, you should do so with help from a licensed attorney who can explain how to protect your credibility and your claim.
Insurance companies like to move quickly because they know you may be desperate for compensation. However, they want to move quickly so they can deny your claim or pay out a small amount of compensation.
Contact a Trusted Attorney from Geoff McDonald and Associates to Discuss Your Claim
Do you have questions about your legal options? Are you unsure if you may have a valid case?
Call today to schedule a free legal consultation with a trusted attorney from our firm. We have a proven track record of success in recovering compensation for injury victims in Virginia in a wide variety of cases.
Your initial consultation comes with no obligation to take legal action and we do not charge up front for providing representation. We are only paid if we help you recover compensation.