As car accident attorneys, we get asked this question a lot: “Do I have to speak with the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident?” While all cases are different, the short answer is no. You are not legally required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, we tell all our clients to not speak with the other insurance company without first consulting an attorney. In this blog, we explain why and provide some useful tips on how to handle this situation.
What happens after a car accident in St. Lucie or Indian River County?
Let’s say you’ve been rear-ended in Port St. Lucie by another driver. In most cases, the driver who hit you is at fault. Under the comparative negligence law of Florida, the driver at fault is responsible for paying for the damages. These damages typically include property damage (such as a totaled vehicle) or personal injuries (such as medical bills). If the driver at fault has insurance, his or her insurance company will pay for your damages. That’s why it’s not unusual for you to get a call from their insurance company within days or weeks of a car accident.
Why is the other driver’s insurance company calling you?
Even if it’s clear that the other driver is at fault for the accident, his or her insurance company will try to minimize the damage or even attempt to place partial blame on you. Why? Insurance companies have one goal at the end of the day: to protect their bottom line. They don’t want to pay more if they can get away with paying less. Therefore, the other driver’s insurance company may call you to try and get you to admit to partial fault or trick you into giving them information that can be used against you. That’s why you must be very careful when talking to the other driver’s insurance company.
However, it’s important to know that you have a legal obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company. If your insurance company calls you, you can give a recorded statement to them. Just don’t give a recorded statement to the other party!
Are you legally required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
No! You are not legally required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you should never give an insurance company a recorded statement without first consulting with an experienced car accident attorney. At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we offer free consultations to anyone involved in a car accident in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee. Schedule your FREE case review by calling 866-930-6435
Attorney tips when speaking to the other driver’s insurance company
If you do choose to talk to the other driver’s insurance company without an attorney present, here are three tips to help protect you.
- Remember that the other driver’s insurance company wants to minimize how much they must pay. They will try to put partial blame on you or will try to downplay your injuries or damages. Therefore, avoid saying things like, “I feel fine,” or “I may have been speeding,” or “I don’t remember because I was distracted.” They can use your words against you.
- Only answer questions that are asked. Do not willingly offer additional information or allow them to record your statement over the phone. A documented statement can lock you into a specific version of the story.
- Don’t use the conversation to “think through the events.” If you don’t know what happened, don’t try to figure it out while talking to the other driver’s insurance company. If you don’t know what happened, it’s alright to tell the insurance company just that. Don’t let them influence you into a certain version of events.
Injured in an accident in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach or Okeechobee?
Call Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd immediately at 866-930-6435
If you are involved and/or injured in an accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, the best thing you can do is call our office and speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Free of charge, we will set-up an in-person or over-the-phone consultation to help you understand your rights and what your next steps should be.
The Treasure Coast Car Accident Attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents on the Treasure Coast. We’re experienced, local, and on your side.
Schedule your FREE case review by calling 866-930-6435