Being involved in an automobile collision can be scary and overwhelming. Immediately after the collision, people want you to tell them what happened. You likely will be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or even your own insurance company, wanting you to sign paperwork or give a recorded statement. The next thing you know, they are denying your claim and you’re trying to figure out what went wrong.
If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance companies are looking for any detail they can find to deny your claim or reduce the amount of money they have to pay. Any documents you sign or statement that you make – to anyone other than your attorney – could potentially be used against you and limit the money you can recover. You might provide the insurance company with information that they are not entitled to or inadvertently phrase something in a way that can be used against you. An insurance adjuster is skilled at encouraging you to continue talking on the chance that you may say something inconsistent. They also may guide you into making statements that could result in the denial of your claim based upon theories of law that are not known to the average layperson. For instance, North Carolina still recognizes contributory negligence theory of law, under which if you are even one percent at fault, your claim could be denied in its entirety. Often, the insurance adjuster will send you paperwork to sign that would allow them to request your medical records or speak with your doctors without you knowing about the communication.
Before speaking to an insurance company after a car collision, you should understand your rights and the compensation you may be able to recover. Contact an experienced attorney at Black, Slaughter & Black to help you through the process.