After you have been involved in a car accident, your insurance company is likely to ask you to give a recorded statement. You should not give your insurance company a written statement unless you have a lawyer with you.
Your insurance company might try to twist your words or ask you leading questions. They might then use this later to deny coverage for your accident or refuse to help you. The only way to ensure that this does not happen is to not give a recorded statement to your insurance company until after you speak with an attorney.
What Questions Will My Insurance Company Ask Me?
Your case will be investigated by an employee of your insurance company called an adjuster. Insurance adjusters typically ask similar questions no matter what accident they are investigating.
The normal questions that insurance adjusters will ask are:
- Who was involved in the accident?
- Were you alone in your vehicle?
- Who else was in your car?
- Who was in the other vehicle?
- What happened?
- How did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Where were you driving to?
You have to be mindful of what you say in response to these questions. While your insurance company might not try to hurt you, if you are engaged in a lawsuit with the at-fault party, they will probably be able to obtain the statements that you made to your insurance company, which they can use to hurt your case.
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Why Is My Insurance Company Asking Me All of These Questions?
The purpose of your insurance company’s questions is to determine who was at fault for the accident. The insurance company will use your answers, as well as police reports and photographs or video recordings that they can obtain to determine who was at fault. There is not always a perfect answer to this question, and insurance companies will often split fault, assigning a percentage value for who is at fault.
The percentage that your insurance company finds you at fault for the accident will determine how much they are forced to pay the other party. It should not surprise you then that your insurance company will most likely find that you were not at fault unless liability for the incident is very obvious.
How Do I Know Who Was at Fault for the Accident?
To determine who was at fault, you will normally need to determine who was negligent, or at least who was most negligent. Negligence is a fairly loose and subjective standard in most cases, meaning that your insurance company will have wide latitude to argue that you were not negligent, and your lawyer will have wide latitude to argue that the other party was negligent.
If the accident was reported to the police, the investigating officer will have produced a police report. You or your lawyer can obtain this police report by simply asking for it. The police department that created the report will give you a copy of it.
If either party clearly violated the law, this will be mentioned in the report. If the other party violated the law, this is very good news for you.
Negligence Per Se
While negligence is a subjective standard, negligence per se is not. Negligence per se occurs when a party violates the law. When a party violates the law, they are considered essentially automatically negligent unless they can disprove this fact.
The laws that are most commonly broken in car accidents are speed limits, failure to maintain a lane, failure to obey road signs, or failure to yield the right of way. Most car accidents are determined based on one party disobeying the law.
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What Else Should I Do?
There are other things that you can do to make sure that your insurance company decides in your favor and fully covers your injuries. If your insurance company covers all of your injuries, you will not have to sue anyone or go through long settlement negotiations. In fact, your insurance company will pay for all of your injuries, and then they will go try to get their money back from the at-fault party in a process called subrogation.
The best things for you to do to help your case are:
- Have your doctor send medical bills directly to your insurance company
- Review your insurance policy and coverage limits
- Don’t settle right away – try to negotiate
- Provide any evidence you have to your insurance company
- Hire an attorney to help you with your case
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How Much Will an Attorney Cost Me?
Nothing unless you win. At Barrios Virgüez, we only get paid if we recover some compensation for you.
This means that you can hire us with no risk to you at all. We only get paid a percentage of the money that we recover for you.
How Long After the Accident Can I File a Lawsuit?
Under Georgia law, if you want to sue for bodily injuries that you have suffered, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the day when you first know about your injuries. This means that if you know you are hurt right after the accident, you have two years from the time of the accident. But, if you have injuries that do not become apparent until later, then you have two years from that point to file your lawsuit.
A good attorney will help you go through your case and determine if your case is within the time limit or not. They will also help you figure out complicated legal issues.
What Lawyer Should I Hire?
When you need help with an injury claim that arises from a car accident, you need the help of great personal injury attorneys. That is why you should hire Barrios Virgüez. We care deeply about our community and want to help you.
If you need the help of skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys, contact Barrios Virgüez for a free consultation and case review.