After you have been the victim of a car accident in Ohio, you can expect to hear from the at-fault party’s insurance company and may also have to talk to a claims representative from your own insurer. Knowing whether you should give the insurance adjuster a recorded statement is key in ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Recorded or written: Which is best?
The short answer is that a written statement is the best option in almost every circumstance. You should avoid giving a recorded statement about an accident to a claims adjuster or other insurance representative, even if they tell you this may delay your claim.
It is important to remember that a recorded statement usually will not help your claim grow, but it can be used against you.
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How should I handle requests from the other driver’s insurance company?
You are under no obligation to give any kind of statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Politely telling them you are not comfortable offering a statement should stop the calls. However, if they continue to pressure you, then you may want to consider enlisting the help of a car accident attorney from our team.
A knowledgeable attorney can help ensure the insurance company has all of the necessary information to work on paying your claim, but they can protect you from making statements that could hurt your case.
Do I have to give a statement to my own insurance company?
Your own insurance company may also request a recorded statement after an accident. Since your policy is a contract with your insurer, you have most likely agreed to cooperate with their investigation into any accident that may occur. Many insurance companies include a clause in their policies that require cooperation in all investigations.
Check your policy and see if your policy includes a cooperation clause. If so, you must give a statement or risk denial of coverage.
If not, you can:
- Decline their request to record your conversations
- Let the adjuster know that you will provide the necessary statement in writing as soon as you have all of the information you need pertaining to the accident
When you draft the written statement for your insurance company, it is paramount that the statement is both accurate and concise. It is also a good idea to have a lawyer review it to ensure you are not accidentally admitting fault or otherwise speculating about the cause of the accident.
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What should I not say to an insurance adjuster?
If you decide to speak with the other party’s insurance adjuster yourself, there are a number of things that we recommend you avoid, including:
- Making any comments about your own fault: You don’t have to say anything about whether or not you may share some blame for the accident. In fact, it’s best that you avoid commenting on the subject of fault when you speak with an adjuster.
- Accepting the very first offer: The first offer an insurer makes is often lower than what your actual costs and losses warrant. For instance, the symptoms (and the costs) of injuries like traumatic brain injuries can take weeks after an accident to develop, according to the Mayo Clinic. We recommend waiting to determine your prognosis and then learning more about the forms of compensation you could qualify to seek.
- Going into great detail about your injuries: We don’t advise giving the adjuster a lot of information about your medical treatments. Not only should you avoid discussing the details of your care and prognosis, but we also recommend avoiding saying anything that the adjuster could construe as a comment about how you are feeling. Even simple statements such as “I’m feeling fine” can be misconstrued.
When and if you do make a statement, we can ensure that nothing you say can be used to lower your settlement value. We can also handle all communication with the insurer on your behalf—so that you don’t have to worry about what you should or shouldn’t say.
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How can an Ohio car accident attorney with our firm help?
Filing an insurance claim after you were the victim of an auto accident should not be complicated, but it often is. Insurance companies look for a reason to deny claims or reduce the payout. Rather than navigating this treacherous route on your own, a car accident attorney can offer the experience and skills necessary to advocate for you during the process.
We can also:
- Determine a value for your case
- Gather necessary evidence to prove your injuries and liability
- Handle all necessary paperwork
- Ensure your case meets any deadlines, such as the statute of limitations
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If you were involved in a car accident in Ohio and are now struggling with an insurance company to get the compensation you deserve, Bressman Law can help. We have offices in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati to serve clients across the state.
Contact us today.
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