The best way to describe a car accident — no matter to whom — is to relay only the basic details of the incident, as calmly and objectively as possible.
What Information Should I Give When Describing My Car Accident?
Stick to providing only the facts as you remember them and do not speculate on anything, especially what the other driver was doing at the time of the collision.
Never admit fault, even if you suspect you contributed to or caused the accident. Involvement in a car crash limits your ability to see and understand the overall dynamics of the accident, and you may be wrong about your contribution.
Do not tell the police or any insurance company that you were unharmed, even if you believe you did not sustain any injuries. Many accident victims do not develop symptoms right away, especially in the case of a traumatic brain, soft tissue, or internal injury.
Who Will Ask Me to Describe My Car Accident?
If officers report to the scene, they may ask you to provide a statement at the scene. Remember to give only the basic details of the accident.
As soon as you reasonably can, you must also provide a statement to your insurance company. Failure to notify your insurance company could allow it to legally deny your claim. Before giving a recorded statement to your insurer, however, it is imperative that you verify the type and limits of your coverage, as well as any specific notification requirements your policy may impose.
Depending on your insurer’s requirements, it may not have the right to require a recorded statement. Nevertheless, even if an adjuster does not record your statement, you must describe your car crash to recover benefits.
When describing the accident to your insurance company, consider and choose your words carefully. The insurance company can (and will) use any details you provide to justify denying your claim — even when it is your own insurance company.
Never lie to the insurance company, because it can also use this as a basis for denying your claim.
If the crash involved another driver, his insurance company will also request a statement — particularly if that driver appears to have caused the accident. Talking to the other driver’s insurance company or their lawyers can potentially compromise your legal rights, and limit your ability to pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries.
What Should I Do If the Other Party’s Insurer Requests a Recorded Statement?
Insurers ask for recorded statements hoping that you will say something it can use against you. This can be something as innocuous as, “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay.”
In most cases, you have no obligation to describe a car accident or provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
In fact, you should never provide any statement — let alone a recorded statement — to any insurance company, without first talking to a car accident lawyer. Doing so could potentially compromise your insurance claim and your legal right to seek fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
Before you provide any statement that could harm you or your legal right to pursues a settlement, consult a car accident lawyer.
Your lawyer can intervene with the insurance company and manage all communication. This ensures that you do not accidentally say something that jeopardizes your right to compensation.
How Can I Make Sure to Describe My Car Accident Accurately?
If you decide to give a recorded statement, you can avoid making potentially damaging statements by preparing in advance to describe your car accident to the insurance company.
You can write out a narrative based on your reconstruction, describing where each vehicle was at each phase of the event. If you do not know or do not remember specific details, be sure to say so.
You can also download a car accident diagram template online, or you can use a notepad to sketch out the accident scene to the best of your recollection.
Label the vehicles in way that makes sense to you, but that will also make sense to the insurance company when you describe them. You can refer to them as Vehicle 1 and Vehicle 2, by their make and color, or by each driver’s name.
Then, when called on to describe the car accident, you can refer to your notes and written narrative.
Call Anidjar & Levine Before Speaking with Any Insurance Company
The team at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine will protect you and your right to compensation from greedy insurers. If the other party’s insurer — or even your own — is requesting a recorded statement, give us a call first. We can either take over communication or help you prepare your statement.
We provide no-cost consultations to accident victims, to help them understand their rights and options. Contact us today at 800-747-3733 to speak to a Florida car accident lawyer.