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What to Tell Your Insurance Company After Your Car Accident

Posted on January 7, 2024 in

Imagine you’re on your routine morning commute, and suddenly a car accident upsets your day. In the chaotic moments that follow, your primary concern is naturally the safety and well-being of everyone involved, then the auto damages. But once the immediate shock subsides, what should you tell your insurance company? 

ARS 28-667 requires that you report to law enforcement any auto accident that involves:

  • Death
  • Injury
  • Property damage exceeding $1,000
  • Issuance of any citation

Your insurance contract requires you to report any such collision if there is any chance of a claim against you or to make a claim for collision coverage if you plan to make such a claim.

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be daunting, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. It’s crucial to know what to say (stick to the truth)— and what not to volunteer — to safeguard your interests. If you find yourself unsure, remember that Jensen Phelan Law Firm is just a call away to guide you through these challenging times.

Communication with Your Insurance Company

Handling the conversation with your insurance company in the aftermath of a car accident is critical. In some cases, it might involve a delicate balance of providing necessary information while protecting your interests. Here’s how we suggest you effectively communicate with your own insurer (we suggest that you do NOT communicate with the adverse insurer without a lawyer in any case involving significant injury damages):

The Basics

After making sure everyone is safe and reporting the accident to the authorities, your next step is to contact your insurance company. This initial conversation is vital to provide basic information: the time, date, and location of the accident, the vehicles involved, and any witness information. It’s important to stick to the facts and avoid speculating or admitting fault – keep it short and simple. Remember, this call is typically recorded and can be used in any subsequent claims or legal proceedings. What you say will be compared to the police report.

Details Matter: What to Include

When discussing the accident, be honest but cautious. Describe the accident accurately, but avoid all unnecessary details or personal opinions. It’s VERY advisable to wait until you have a copy of the police report before giving a detailed statement, as it provides an objective account of the incident with more details than you are likely to know or recall. If injuries are involved, mention them, but refrain from downplaying or exaggerating their severity, as medical assessments can take time to fully reveal the extent of harm.

Discussing Damages and Losses

Be thorough but precise when discussing damages and losses. Inform your insurer about damage to your vehicle and any personal property affected. However, avoid making any immediate assumptions about the cost of repairs or the value of lost items. It’s often best to have a professional repair estimate and assessment first. Also, keep receipts and records of any expenses related to the accident, as they might be critical for proof of your claim.

Understanding Your Rights and Obligations After a Car Accident

It’s essential to be aware of your insurance coverage, including aspects like liability, collision, and medical expenses. This knowledge not only empowers you to understand what claims you can legitimately make but also what your insurer is obligated to cover.

However, it’s important to be cautious of certain tactics insurance companies might employ. Often, insurers may try to settle claims quickly and for less than what you may be entitled to. They might also discourage you from finding legal advice, subtly implying that an attorney would complicate matters. This tactic is usually in the insurer’s interest, not yours. They are aware that legal representation can significantly impact the compensation you receive.

In cases involving the other party’s insurance, remember that you’re not required to provide them with any detailed statement. They may attempt to contact you for information, but it’s prudent to direct them to your attorney. Insurance adjusters are skilled in obtaining information that could be used to minimize your claim. By having an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Jensen Phelan Law Firm, you help protect your rights during these interactions.

Navigating the Legal Process After an Accident

After a car accident, the legal process can be intricate, with the possibility of settling out of court being a crucial consideration. Many cases are resolved through settlements, offering a potentially less stressful and more cost-effective alternative to a court trial. However, it’s essential to carefully assess these offers, as they might not comprehensively cover your losses and future needs.

Your responsibility in this process includes meticulous documentation of all accident-related communications and expenses and staying informed about your legal options. Experienced legal support, like Jensen Phelan Law Firm, can guide you through settlement negotiations or court proceedings. 

Call Jensen Phelan Law Firm For Help With Your Insurance Company After An Accident

At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, we don’t just represent clients; we advocate for their right to fair compensation and justice. With our extensive experience in personal injury law (over 50 years), we know that our hard work will make a difference for you. Your case will receive the attention, expertise, and experience it deserves. We understand the intricacies of dealing with insurance companies and are adept at negotiating to protect your interests.

If you find yourself in the aftermath of a car accident, unsure of how to proceed with your insurance company, let Jensen Phelan Law Firm be your advocate. Call (928) 778-2660 or fill out our contact form.