In this second part to our article on, "How to Deal with the Other Guy's Insurance Company" we offer three tips on subjects including how to handle your initial disclosures, whether to give a recorded statement, and what to expect about the insurance company's request for a medical authorization.
If you've been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, we recommend that you talk to an experienced Erie car accident lawyer before you talk to the insurance company or sign any documents. But if you insist on doing it yourself, we offered four tips in the first part of our article on how to deal with the other guy's insurance company. Here in the second part of our article are three more tips to help you avoid the worst mistakes people make when handling their own Erie injury cases.
5. Limit Your Initial Disclosures
Your initial conversations should be polite but controlled. Until you've completed your treatment and accident investigation, you should limit the information you provide to your name, address, phone number and limited accident information (date, time, place). Naturally, the insurance adjustor is going to want to know about your injuries and the details of the accident. But, at least in the early going, you can't be sure of the full extent of your injuries and you may not have completed your car accident investigation. It's appropriate to say that you don't know exactly how severe your injuries are and that you are following up with your doctors. You will provide more detailed information in your Pennsylvania car accident demand.
6. Don't Agree to a Recorded Statement
Don't agree to give a recorded statement, not in person and not over the phone. And don't sign a document that purports to be a summary of your words. Experienced Erie injury lawyers almost never agree to a recorded statement. Has the insurance company offered to let you record a statement from their insured, the other driver? No? Of course not. This is a one-sided process aimed at getting you to make statements that are harmful to your Erie car accident case. The insurance company isn't going to assign someone trained in getting a detailed and truthful statement from you. They assign someone whose only interest is in eliciting words from you that can be used to make it seem that are at fault in the accident or that can be used to limit your harm. There's little good that can come from agreeing to a recorded statement in your Erie car crash case.
7. Be Prepared to Give an Authorization
You'll be asked to provide authorizations that allow the insurance company to collect your medical and/or employment records. These authorizations may allow very personal records, including mental health and other intimate records, to be produced to the insurance company. We're not opposed to producing medical records. You'd have to in a lawsuit in any event and you won't get anywhere in your Erie car crash case if you refuse but you should agree to give these authorizations only upon the condition that the insurance company agrees to provide you with copies of all documents that they collect through the use of your authorization (and without cost to you).
For 3 more tips and rules on dealing with the other guy's insurance company, see Part III of this article HERE.
If you were recently hurt in an Erie car accident, you almost certainly have many questions. For example, you may be wondering how your medical bills will be paid, whether you need an Erie accident lawyer for your case or where you can find tips for handling your own injury case. You can find answers to many of these questions on this website or you can order a free comprehensive book we've written, "The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania: A Roadmap to Justice." Of course, if you'd just prefer to cut through the paperwork, call today to talk for free with one of our Erie car crash lawyers at 814-580-5017.