Your auto insurance company is very interested in any accident that involves one of their insured vehicles. That means they will almost certainly interview you to get your side of the story following an auto accident.
What you tell your insurance company may affect the outcome of any subsequent litigation, the continuing terms of your auto coverage, or how much you receive to cover your accident costs.
If you want to protect your legal rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated, you should hire an experienced auto accident attorney to make sure you do not slip up and tell the insurance company something that they can deny coverage for.
The Insurance Adjuster Interview
You should discuss your accident in Texas with your insurance company. Failure to notify your insurer of an auto accident in a timely manner may actually void your insurance policy. This could mean termination of coverage, refusal to represent you, or increased premiums.
In most cases, your insurance company will contact you to conduct an interview by phone. They may ask you if it is okay to record you; if you are uncomfortable being recorded, you may refuse politely. Even better is to have your attorney take this call.
However, if there are some extenuating circumstances to the case, your insurer may ask you to visit their office for an in-person interview. Remember: This is not an interrogation, but rather a meeting to lay out all of the facts of the case.
Just tell the facts as you remember them. Use notes or other documentation if necessary. Don’t guess or offer opinions.
Do not admit that the accident was your fault. You may not know all of the details of the accident, and any admission could be used against you in the future.
Common Insurance Adjuster Interview Questions
While the circumstances of every auto accident are unique, the questions that your insurance company will probably ask have been asked countless times before.
Among the most common questions are:
Where and when did the accident happen? You should write down all of the details of the accident as soon as you are able, so that you can provide this information to your insurance company.
Who was involved in the auto accident? While you are at the scene of the accident, you should collect as much identifying information as possible from the other driver, passengers in either car, witnesses, and owners of damaged property. Under Texas law, the other driver must provide you with, at the very least, their name, address, driver’s license, and insurer information.
How did the accident happen? Recount the details of the accident as best as you can. Stick to the facts and avoid any unnecessary commentary.
Who caused the accident? Avoid admitting fault for the accident. If you are unsure how to answer, just say “I don’t know.”
Did the police file a report? If possible, ask the police to come to your assistance immediately after the accident so that they can file an accident report. Although police may refuse if there is minimal property damage or no injuries, getting the circumstances of the accident on the official record is usually helpful.
Did you suffer any injuries? Even if you don’t feel injured, you should always receive medical care after an auto accident. You may not feel any pain in the immediate aftermath of an accident due to adrenaline.
Car Accident Insurance Company Do’s and Don’ts
Saying the wrong thing during conversations with your car insurance company following an accident could mean accidentally admitting fault. And when you admit fault, you could be forced to shoulder the financial burden of paying deductibles and possibly increased insurance premiums for many years.
So if you must have a conversation with an insurance company (either your own insurance provider or the other driver’s provider), here’s how to handle the matter:
DO: Provide your personal information, such as name, address and phone number you can be reached at.
DO: Avoid discussing the car accident details. The insurance company will conduct an investigation, including pulling the police report and talking to other drivers involved.
DON’T: Admit fault. By not discussing the details of the accident, you should be able to avoid any traps the insurance company might use to catch you admitting fault.
DON’T: Say you’re feeling fine. If asked how you’re feeling, defer the question to your doctor or just say you can’t discuss the matter. Even if you feel fine at the moment, you might experience injuries later on and you don’t want to be on the record as saying you were not injured.
DON’T: Never agree to a recorded statement when your attorney is not present. Tell the insurance company they’ll need to wait until you have discussed the matter with legal counsel.
DON’T: Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, no matter how good it might seem on the surface. Wait and discuss the matter with your attorney. There are many nuances to how settlements are calculated, and you should never be forced to accept an offer on the spot.
So Will My Insurance Pay for My Car to Get Fixed After an Accident?
In order to recover the full amount of your repair expenses, you will need to file an insurance claim.
If the other driver was at fault, then you will need to know who insures their vehicle and file a claim with them. You should be able to learn who their insurer is by asking them after the accident or from the police report.
Before the insurer makes the payout, they will conduct an investigation to confirm the details of the accident.
Things may get more complicated if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. Although there is no other insurer to file a claim with, you may be able to go through your own insurer to recover repair costs. If you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, then your own insurance policy should cover some or all of your repair bills.
This is why it’s so important to hire legal counsel experienced with handling vehicle accidents. They can guide you through this complicated and legally risky process to ensure you get the resources you need to move forward with your life.
Protect Yourself with a Texas Car Accident Attorney
Don’t walk into an interview with your insurer and give away the bank because you didn’t know better. Our Arlington and Dallas-Fort Worth based team at The Law Offices of David Kohm can help you prepare for your interview, guide you through this complex process, and protect your interests. Call the Law Offices of David Kohm today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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