What’s it Like Working with California Insurance Companies after a Car Wreck?
It’s common knowledge to exchange contact information with another driver after an accident. Despite having auto insurance, many people don’t know how to deal with insurance companies thereafter. The process can be confusing, especially amidst the chaos of a car accident.
How Do I Proceed?
The best way to start is to collect yourself. Check to see if you or anyone in the vehicle are injured, and then start documenting the scene. Your cellphone is very handy here. Use it to take pictures and make all the necessary phone calls.
If you are not at-fault for the accident, call the police. Officers will survey the accident scene, and document everything so there is evidence of who may or may not be at-fault. This is important; every accident is reported to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles; if the officer says you weren’t the at-fault motorist, the accident won’t show up on your driving record.
Next, call your insurance company. Notify them of the accident, which is especially important if someone has hit your car. When you speak to the insurance adjuster, provide them with the other driver’s information; the location, time, and date of the car accident; and the police department that was involved with the case. Do not contact the other driver’s insurance company unless you have spoken to your attorney first. You want to avoid speaking to their insurer as much as you possibly can.
Will My Rates Go Up?
People are often concerned their insurance premiums will go up after a car accident. If you’re not at-fault, chances are your rates won’t increase. An insurance company uses various factors to decide on changing your rates, including the severity of the accident, whether you were at-fault or not, and your driving history.
What If the Other Driver’s Insurance Adjuster Contacts Me?
Don’t be surprised if the other party’s insurance company contacts you. They will likely try to do so, but you don’t have to speak to them. It’s actually better to ignore the call. If you’ve been injured in a crash, let your car accident lawyer handle the claim and your insurance adjuster speak for you. You’ll be better off since insurance adjusters are manipulative and will trick you into providing information that can be used against your claim, potentially reducing the compensation you could receive.
If, for some reason, you find yourself talking to the other driver’s adjuster:
- Don’t mention your condition, even if they ask how you are; they may sound like they care but they’re just trying to prove your injuries may not be that serious.
- Don’t offer any information that’s not asked for. Your statements can be used against you, as adjusters are always looking for details they can spin in favor of their employer.
- Decline if they ask to record the conversation. It is illegal in California for an adjuster to record the call if you say no to them; the state also requires both parties to be recorded if recordings are used.
You can also ask to include your adjuster in the conversation. Providing them with your adjuster’s or attorney’s information can work as well. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with and can prolong or jeopardize your personal injury case. Keep fighting and apply for a direct pre-settlement advance with FCA Legal Funding, so you’re not forced to settle early. If there’s no recovery, there’s no repayment, but you never pay anything out-of-pocket. Apply today or call us at (310) 424-5176 and receive legal funding in as little as 24 hours!