Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
After any accident, you are facing a whole slew of new problems. To begin with, the accident was unexpected. No one plans when they will have an accident. Even if you could schedule it you would do everything you could to avoid an accident. Whether it is a slip and fall in Miami or a car accident on Miami Beach or a trip and fall in Broward, the fact is any kind of accident has the potential of affecting not only your life but the lives of your family, friends and co-workers.
Our Miami accident lawyers have dealt with accident victims since 1963. We have seen the “ripple effect” of an accident. After a car accident, the driver, owner and their families have to deal with the property damage. Sometimes the car is totaled and inoperable. Then your co-workers have to pick up the slack when you aren’t there. Even though you had an accident, kids still need to be picked up; groceries need to be purchased; and everyday life must be attended to because life goes on. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you deal with everything. But before you even call an attorney, you have to figure out what to do with the insurance companies.Your Insurance Company after a Car Accident
You have a responsibility and a duty to promptly report your car accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. You should not hesitate to make that call. When you do call make sure you ask for and obtain a claim number. While you might have a policy number that is for your entire policy. Your claim number is specific to the car crash you just had so make sure you write it down. When you call your insurance company in the future about anything to do with this accident, then you will need to refer to that claim number.
You should speak with your own insurance company and ask what coverages are available to you to help with your property damage, medical bills and any lost wages. You will also need to provide information to your insurance company so that they can defend you from any claims. Most insurance companies will request a recorded statement of their insured. This usually happens over the phone. Your policy of insurance imposes a duty of cooperation upon you. If you fail to cooperate, then your insurance company may have grounds to deny you coverage. The best course of conduct is to cooperate and provide statements and whatever evidence that your insurance company may require.The Defendant’s Insurance Company
If and when you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company you need to know that you have absolutely no duty to cooperate with them. You may deal with the other driver’s insurance company if they agree that their driver was at fault and further agree to repair or replace your car. But you should not provide a recorded statement without first speaking with your lawyer.
Aside from repairing or replacing your vehicle, the other driver’s insurance company is trying to find ways to deny or minimize your claim in any legal way possible. Giving them a recorded statement before consulting with your own lawyer is probably an unwise move to make.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the insurance company for the store, supermarket, restaurant or mall might call you. These adjusters are trained extensively in customer service and claims handling. But you are not required to cooperate with them or provide a recorded statement. If requested, then it is always best to speak with an attorney first.
Ultimately, your personal injury attorney will deal with the insurance adjusters while you work on your recovery. In some cases, your attorney may agree to an unrecorded interview with the adjuster so long as your lawyer is present. This informal interview is strictly for the purposes of assisting the parties in a possible settlement. On other occasions, your lawyer may agree to allow your statement to be taken so long as your lawyer can take their insureds statement. Ironically, the adjuster will rarely, if ever, agree to allow their insured to be interviewed. That will usually end the requests for your statement.
If you were injured in a slip and fall or a car accident in Miami or anywhere in South Florida, the personal injury lawyers at Wolfson & Leon are ready, willing and able to help you. Just call us today for your free consultation at (305) 285-1115. We are here to help.