Should You Talk to the Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Bay Staters rely on insurance to help them when they are injured in a car accident. Without that financial assistance, you may be left with serious physical and financial issues. However, you should be wary of what the insurer tries to get you to say to them when they reach out to you.
The best option is actually to say nothing at all, or have your lawyer do the talking for you. Any statement that you make to the insurance provider for the at-fault driver can be used against you in court to deny your recovery. If the insurance company comes right out with a settlement offer, don’t sign it without speaking to your attorney first to determine whether it is fair.
If you were injured in a car accident, you deserve diligent and dedicated legal assistance in your fight for just compensation. The Boston car accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan are here for you. To get a free initial case assessment, place a call to us today at (617) 925-6407.
How Should You Respond to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Once the other driver submits a claim to their insurer, it is only a matter of time until a representative for the insurance company reaches out to you. The representative, known as a claims adjuster, will likely ask you some questions about the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries that you may have suffered. You do not have to respond to their questions. In fact, it would probably be best if you said nothing at all.
Insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is not to provide you with support in your time of need, particularly if their client is the one who caused your injury. Instead, claims adjusters for insurance companies are tasked with finding ways to deny your claim or defeat your potential lawsuit, should you end up in court.
To that end, they may ask you questions about the accident in hopes that you provide an answer that they can use against you. Even a blanket apology (e.g., “I’m sorry that all this happened…”) can be used in court to infer that you are taking responsibility for causing the accident.
Fortunately, you are not obligated to put yourself in this precarious position. Instead, we recommend that you designate one of our experienced Somerville car accident lawyers to do the talking for you. This way, you can relieve yourself of the stress of dealing with difficult questions about your accident and avoid any chance that you make a statement that comes back to haunt you.
Should You Talk to the Insurance Company About Settlement Offers for a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Many car accident injury victims in Massachusetts will also receive a settlement offer from the other party’s insurance provider. You may even receive the offer in your first conversation with the claims adjuster.
A settlement agreement is a deal between the injury victim and the defendant (or, more likely, their insurer) where the defendant agrees to pay a negotiated amount of money in exchange for the injury victim waiving their legal right to sue for damages from the accident. Settlements can be beneficial for both sides, as they avoid the time-consuming trial process and get victims paid sooner.
However, that does not mean that you should pounce on your first opportunity to settle. Many insurance companies strategically prey on injury victims who they believe will take substantially less than what they are owed in order to get a compensation package quicker to help deal with the medical bills that are piling up. Therefore, many first settlement offers carry a much lower value than what your case deserves.
Generally, your first opportunity to settle your case will not be your last. You can negotiate the terms of your settlement even after you file your formal lawsuit and throughout the course of your case, even after a trial begins. Many cases end up settling just hours before the trial portion of the case is set to start. These situations are referred to as “courthouse steps” settlements, and often provide plaintiffs with a better payout than they would have gotten if they settled early.
Your recovery is too important to just cut and run at the first opportunity without taking every option into account. Never sign anything without discussing your settlement offer and legal opportunities with your diligent Malden car accident attorney.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Communicate with an Insurance Company After a Massachusetts Car Accident?
Your lawyer should be your best friend and most useful tool when communicating and negotiating with the other side’s insurance provider after a car accident. Trying to handle your case alone could leave you at a significant disadvantage while you try to handle the rest of your life as well as your recovery from your injuries. A qualified Massachusetts car accident attorney should be able to collect evidence, estimate the value of your case, communicate with the insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary.
Having legal counsel on your side sends a clear message to the insurance company that you mean business. This is important because many claims adjusters may try to take advantage of injury victims that they know don’t have a lawyer. These tactics may amount to what we in the legal world call “bad faith.” An insurance company that denies your claim or refuses to negotiate in bad faith may be liable not just for what they owe you in damages, but also additional punitive damages based on their conduct. If you suspect that the other party’s insurance company is being unfair to you, contact a Wakefield car accident lawyer immediately.
Don’t Take on the Insurance Company Alone After a Massachusetts Car Accident
The Law Office of John J. Sheehan takes your recovery as seriously as you do. To hear about our services and get a case evaluation from a Cambridge car accident lawyer, call us at (617) 925-6407.