4 Questions Insurance Companies Ask After an Oakland Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident in California, you might already know that you need to file a claim with the responsible motorist’s insurance company to recover monetary damages. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has established regulations regarding minimum auto insurance requirements to protect victims like you who face devastating losses as a result of getting hurt.
Within a few days after the crash, you can expect a call from the insurance adjuster for the other driver assigned to your claim. It might seem like this person just wants some basic information about the incident, so you probably see no problem answering a few questions.
However, you need to realize the real motivation behind this conversation with the adjuster: Digging for information and reasons to deny your claim. You should always allow your Oakland car accident lawyer to handle this conversation, but you need to be aware of some questions you might face.
- Who do you think caused the collision? The insurance adjuster is looking to deny your claim and is hoping that you say something that they can later misconstrue as an admission of fault on your part. The insurance company only has to pay for losses caused by its policyholder so they will use every tool at their disposal to blame the accident on you. The other driver’s insurer is trying to manufacture grounds to reject your claim or pay out a lower amount.
- What were you doing just before the accident? This question is a more subtle variation of #1 above, because the insurer is trying to make a case that you were not exercising reasonable care behind the wheel. The adjuster will try to seize on any stray comment you make to justify a denial. Another inquiry to be cautious of is where you were coming from or going when the collision occurred. The adjuster might be trying to show that you were in a hurry.
- When did you seek medical care? Because your injuries are an important component of your claim, the insurer will want to downplay the severity and nature of your injuries. If you respond that you delayed seeing a doctor, the insurance company will wrongfully assume and later argue that you weren’t hurt very badly. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is best to seek treatment the same day, or in the next few days.
Can you describe your injuries? Beware of this question. You are likely to leave some injuries out of the conversation, you may not know the full severity of your injuries, or the insurance adjuster may catch you on better day when you are hurting less. You should treat with a health care professional, tell them about all of your symptoms, and let them diagnose and record your problems. The most appropriate response to the insurance adjuster is to say that you’re still being treated by a physician.
Consult with an Oakland Car Accident Attorney First
When you have skilled legal representation, you won’t have to worry about being tricked by the insurance adjuster or having your words twisted. You can count on our Oakland car accident attorneys at Venardi Zurada, LLP to take the lead on all conversations with the insurance company, from filing the initial claim to negotiating fair, reasonable settlement. For more information on how we can assist with the claims process, please contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation at our offices.