What to Say and Not Say to the Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Arkansas
Every injured Arkansas car accident victim has some questions about their next steps. How will I pay for my medical expenses? What happens if I can’t work again? Can I get my car repaired? Who is to blame?
These questions can keep you up at night and cause you significant stress and anxiety. As you struggle to deal with your injuries, you deserve to have someone on your side who can help answer your questions and fight for your rights. However, where you go to obtain answers to those questions can profoundly impact the outcome of your injury claim.
Unfortunately, Arkansas insurance companies have one main goal: to pay you as little as possible. They often twist things you say to help them reduce your claims.
What Not to Say to an Insurance Company After an Accident
Insurance companies train their adjusters to find ways to reduce claims. They do this by twisting injured accident survivors’ words and using them to offer lower settlements. They may claim that you are not as injured as you say. They may claim that you were partly to blame. Knowing their primary goal is key to understanding what NOT to say to an insurance company after an accident.
- Do not admit fault. While this may seem shockingly simple, the truth is that insurance adjusters often trick injured accident survivors into admitting fault. Even something as simple as saying, “I didn’t see them” or “I’m sorry” can be used to show fault.
- Do not downplay your injuries. As an injured accident survivor, you may not fully understand the long-term effects of your injuries. Do not downplay your injuries or claim that your injuries are not severe, and signal the insurance company to offer you even less for your accident.
- Do not give a recorded statement. Unless your attorney tells you to do so, avoid giving a recorded statement. These statements may seem innocuous, but they are not.
- Do not give opinions. Avoid speculations about what “may have” happened during the accident. Instead, stick to only the facts you know or what is on the police report. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to give your opinion of the events but avoid doing so.
- Do not sign a medical release. Insurance adjusters will say that they need to access your medical files. However, they are looking for ways to reduce your claim by claiming pre-existing conditions. Do not sign any releases without speaking to your attorney.
- Do not break privacy. It is important not to provide insurance companies with the names of doctors, other accident victims, or family members. Speak to your attorney before discussing your case with insurance companies.
- Do not feel pressured to talk. Insurance companies and adjusters may contact you quickly after a crash to ask you questions. However, you may be in shock or confused after the accident, especially if you have suffered a serious injury. Avoid speaking to the insurance company until you are ready and have taken the time to process the events entirely.
What to Tell the Insurance Company After an Accident
It is equally important to know what you should say to an insurance company after an accident. After a car accident in Arkansas, you may need to discuss your accident with your own insurance company and the “at fault” driver’s insurance company. Knowing what to say is key to maximizing compensation after an accident.
- Report the facts. It is important to talk to your insurance company and give them a rundown of the facts. Let them know where the accident occurred when it happened, and who was involved. If there is a police report, let them know.
- Report the damage. Discuss the damage with your insurance company. Again, stick to just the facts. Report and document the damage to your vehicle and keep good medical records regarding your injuries.
- Discuss your policy. It is important to understand your own insurance policy and its limits and the insurance policy limits of the “at fault” driver. Get copies of your insurance policies before discussing your case with an attorney.
- Ask for identification. When discussing your accident with an insurance adjuster at any insurance company, ask them to identify themselves. Write down this information, as it may be useful to you in the future.
Arkansas is an “at fault” state, meaning the person responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying damages. However, your insurance company will still want a notification that you suffered an injury in an accident. In some cases, they may even need to pay for some of the expenses, such as if you purchased an underinsured motorist insurance policy.
While your insurance company wants you to believe that they are on your side, this is not always the case. It is important to discuss your injuries and accident with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement and deal with insurance companies efficiently after an injury accident.
Should You Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement?
It is essential to know that the first offer an insurance company gives is usually their lowest. These low-ball settlements are just a fraction of what you may need to recover and put your life back together again. Never accept a settlement without first speaking to an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. Our attorneys can review your settlement offer and make sure it is enough to cover all damages you suffered.
We’ll gladly evaluate the insurance company’s offer for free at absolutely no obligation to you. We’ll tell you if we feel like it’s a sound offer. If not, we’ll be happy to take on your case to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Either way, it’s worth a call to find out.
When examining the settlement offer, our attorneys will meet with you to help you answer three fundamental questions:
- Will the settlement offer from the insurance company be enough money to pay all your current and future medical expenses?
- Will it fully compensate you for all the paychecks you missed due to your injuries? Does it take into account any future work you may miss?
- Does their offer take into account your pain and suffering or the strain put on your family?
Call Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys Today
After a car accident in Arkansas, it is important to retain legal representation quickly. The faster you have a lawyer on your side, the quicker you can obtain money for your injuries. Insurance companies often negotiate differently when they know an injured accident survivor has a lawyer on their side. This signals that you mean business and are unwilling to accept anything less than what you deserve.
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton we have helped injured car accident survivors and their families obtain the money they need after a catastrophic accident. We know the tactics insurance companies use to reduce claims, and we fight against those tactics. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with large insurance companies in a court of law if necessary.
We’re Taking Care of You
With six offices in Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Springdale, Jacksonville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, and Memphis —our Arkansas and Tennessee injury lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you need us.
Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers today. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 434-4800 and tell us your story.