If you have been in an accident, the first call should always be to 911. This will cause the proper police authorities to come to the scene to report the accident. It will also prompt an ambulance and/or fire rescue to assist and treat people injured in the accident.
Shortly thereafter, most people begin calling their insurance company from the scene to report the accident. However, few realize that the initial call to their insurance company could severely impact their claims. In fact, if you have ever been involved in a car accident in South Florida, you will typically begin to receive phone calls from the insurance carriers for the parties involved within hours of the accident. While most insurance policies require you to report the accident in a timely fashion and cooperate, it does not mean you must call in the first ten minutes after the accident. Before you speak with any insurance companies, STOP AND THINK!
As you can imagine, insurance companies do not pay injury claims as easily as they collect your premiums. Following a motor vehicle accident, the insurance companies go on a fact finding mission in an attempt to find any way possible to minimize or eliminate your recovery. One way this is accomplished is when the insurance companies attempt to obtain recorded statements from the parties involved in the accident. Insurance companies are looking to learn details of the accident, discuss the nature of injuries, degrees of pain, and determine who was at fault for the accident.
Knowing that shortly after an accident the injured parties are at their most vulnerable, the insurance companies try to secure these statements as close in time to the accident as possible. Adding insult to injury, the insurance companies know that it is highly unlikely that you have retained an attorney at this point to protect your interests. Unfortunately, anything that is said by you in these conversations can be used later by the insurance companies against you.
Although it seems like your insurance company is on your side, be sure to keep in mind that they are a profit making business first, and they are looking to pay as little as possible on your claim!
If you get into an accident, make sure to call the attorneys at Greenberg & Strelitz, P.A. before you speak to any insurance companies. We will be by your side to guide you through the entire process, communicate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, and make sure that the insurance companies don’t take advantage of your inexperience in dealing with claims stemming from a motor vehicle accident. Don’t go through the process alone, call us today for a free consultation at (561) 361-9400.