How to Talk to the Insurance Company After a Chicago Car Accident | Staver
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How to Talk to the Insurance Company After a Chicago Car Accident

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Insurance

No one expects to be in a car accident, but you should know how to handle an insurance claim if you’re the victim of a wreck. Because Illinois is an at-fault state, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your losses. However, getting a settlement for your damages is not as simple as asking for compensation.

You must take careful steps to protect any potential settlements. At some point, you will talk to the insurance companies involved. Those interactions could put your case at risk. Learn why working with a Chicago personal injury lawyer can protect your settlement.

Talking to Insurance Companies Can Threaten Your Settlement

Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses. They don’t like anything that can threaten their bottom line, so their agents work to find ways to lessen their responsibility to make a payout.

If an insurance company can discover an “out” from having to pay you for their client’s actions, they will take it. They may use bad faith tactics, or they will try to twist your statements, lessen the significance of your injury, or even place blame on you for your accident.

The best choice of action? Talk to a Chicago car accident lawyer before you make any statements to insurance companies.

What to Avoid Telling Insurance Companies

If you are talking to your insurer, you should cooperate as best as you can. Their adjusters might ask you to give a statement, so use caution. You should stick to the facts of the case.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company reaches out to you, make sure that you:

  • Do Not Admit Fault. This may sound like common sense, but an adjuster may try to trick you into taking some or all the blame for your accident, getting them off the hook for your damages. Something as mild as an apology could be counted as an admission.
  • Do Not Downplay Injuries. Some injuries can have invisible or delayed symptoms. You shouldn’t try to tone down your injuries or say they aren’t “that bad.” If the insurance company believes you aren’t seriously injured, they may try to offer you a smaller settlement.
  • Do Not Provide a Recorded Statement. You should discuss giving any statement to an insurance company with a lawyer first. You might feel safe giving a statement, but you can’t be sure how an insurance company will use it, no matter how innocent it feels.
  • Try Not to Speculate. Avoid phrases like “may have” or “what could have” happened. You should stick to the facts in the police report or other evidence. Potential settlements will be made based on the facts. Any opinions could be used to challenge your claim.
  • Do Not Share Medical Records. An insurance company could ask for your medical files. Talk to your attorney about it, but it’s a good bet that you should not share your records. Adjusters could be searching for preexisting conditions that would limit your settlement.

It should be noted that you should not feel pressured to talk to an adjuster before you are ready. It’s a common tactic to contact a crash victim early. Adjusters claim it’s so that the memories of your accident are fresh, but they want to talk to you before you’ve discovered the full extent of your damages.

If you aren’t ready to talk, direct them to your attorney or insurance company. By working with your attorney, you won’t give out any misleading details or break the privacy of other victims, doctors, or family.

What Should I Say to Insurance Companies After a Car Crash?

Once you’ve contacted your lawyer and received the okay to talk to an insurer, follow your lawyer’s instructions carefully. They’ll likely tell you to:

  • Stick to the Facts. You can give your insurer a copy of the police report. Just give them the rundown of your accident: where it happened, who was involved, and when.
  • Report Your Damages. You can use medical records, bills, and mechanic’s receipts to give the sum of your damages to insurers. Keep detailed records of your treatments.
  • Discuss Your Policy. Understanding your insurance policy, its limits, and the at-fault driver’s policy details is critical to getting the compensation you deserve for your damages. You can discuss the limits for your personal injury claim with your car accident lawyer.
  • Ask for a Name. When an adjuster reaches out, make sure you get their name, title, and contact information. These details could be useful later if you have questions or if your attorney needs answers.

Important Details to Remember About Car Accident Claims

It’s critical to remember that your personal injury case relies on evidence. Even in situations where fault for a crash is obvious, evidence could ruin your chance at a settlement. Saying the wrong thing to an adjuster could provide the defendant with the evidence they need to avoid giving them the compensation they deserve.

After a crash, get photos at the scene, collect witness contact information, and get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Get a medical evaluation so you can prove the crash caused your injuries. And call a personal injury lawyer.

How Does a Lawyer Help My Case?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may assume the insurance company will cooperate and pay you the money you need to recover physically and fiscally. However, the insurance company may not cooperate with your needs. An attorney strengthens your case and can help protect your potential settlement.

Once you hire an attorney, they will investigate your crash. They can secure evidence, get statements, and help find witnesses to hold the at-fault driver responsible for your crash. They can represent you in court and to the insurance company and help you negotiate a favorable settlement.

Call a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been hurt in a Chicago car accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with the insurance companies on your own. Call the Staver Accident Injury Lawyers. Our team has helped many Chicago residents fight for fair settlements. We’ve helped clients win hundreds of millions in settlements over the years. We’re ready to hear your story and fight for you.

We understand how difficult dealing with a car crash can be. Don’t fight on your own. Call (312) 236-2900 or use our form to schedule your initial consultation. There’s no fee unless we win.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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