Eight Things You Should Never Do After A Car Accident
1. Never speak to an Insurance adjuster before speaking to a lawyer.
I know they seem nice on the phone, and they say they really want to help you. However, things you may not think are important may hurt you case. For example, let’s say you hurt your back six years ago and then hurt it again in a recent car accident. Your pain now is a little different than the pain you felt before, but you are not sure how to describe it. The next thing you know, the insurance adjuster says your pain is the same and could be from the previous injury, and you mistakenly agree. It happens more often than you think. That’s the reason Insurance companies want to speak with you before you hire a lawyer. At Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, we will never tell you to say something that isn’t true. We just want to make sure that we are there to help you answer any questions.
2. Never say you’re sorry after a car accident.
I know it sound’s terrible, but those words can come back to haunt you. You may want to say you’re sorry because the other driver may be injured and you feel bad. However, saying you’re sorry at the scene of the accident might be used later on to imply that you were at fault for causing the accident.
3. Never speak to a runner, clinic or lawyer who solicits you after a car accident.
Miami is rampant with personal injury protection (PIP) clinics and runners who solicit victims after Miami car accidents. Stay away from these people, as they will land you in the world of insurance fraud.
4. Never misrepresent your medical history or injuries to your doctor following a car accident.
Don’t be scared to tell your doctor about prior accidents or injuries. If you don’t share this information with your doctor, then you may inhibit your doctor from making the correct diagnosis, and, more importantly, their opinions about your injuries will be subject to challenge.
5. Never lie to your lawyer about how the accident happened, the extent of your injuries or your prior medical history.
See #4 above. This is one of the most important rules. You must trust the lawyer you hired. If you don’t trust your attorney, then get another one who can help you with your car accident. In order to properly represent you and get you the best possible recovery, your lawyer must know all the facts. Most importantly, your lawyer needs to learn those facts from you, not from the insurance company. Rest assured, the insurance company has resources and will find out about every prior and/or subsequent claim you have. Thus, you must tell your lawyer in advance so that they can secure all your medical records.
6. Never be afraid to ask your lawyer a question about car accident laws, car accident injuries, insurance coverage or the claims process.
You should feel comfortable with your lawyer and your lawyer’s staff so that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction. Remember, we work for you.
7. Never volunteer information following your car accident.
Specifically, when you speak to a police officer, only answer the questions that are asked of you. This does not mean do not cooperate; this means limit your answers to the specific question asked. For example, if the police officer asks where you were going, you can tell them you were heading to work. Don’t tell them details, such as you were heading to work and were late because you stopped for coffee.
8. Never accept a settlement or sign a release before speaking to a lawyer.
Insurance companies want to settle cheaply. Progressive insurance company is well known for this tactic. Progressive will call you right after an accident and offer you a nominal sum of money. This may seem like a good deal until you go to the doctor and find out that you have a more serious injury than you first thought. Unfortunately, once you sign the release, it’s too late to go back and ask for the amount of money you actually will need.