Help! I've been in a Car Accident! Should I Provide a Statement to My Insurance Company?
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Shreveport Bossier area, here are some considerations and information about when you should cooperate with an insurance company and when you should NEVER COOPERATE with an insurance company in terms of giving a recorded statement about an accident/claim.
I WAS INJURED IN A SHREVEPORT CAR ACCIDENT, WHEN SHOULD I GIVE A STATEMENT TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
You should NEVER give a statement to another party's insurance company about a car accident before first consulting with an experienced Shreveport personal injury lawyer about your rights. However, you MUST cooperate with YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY in its investigation of any claim you file, and these types of claims are usually property damage claims and rental claims after a car accident and homeowner’s claims. You should always consult a Shreveport insurance lawyer to determine if you need an attorney to represent you when dealing with your insurance company. This is especially true if you have been accused of fraud, if your insurance company denies your claim, if you receive a “reservation of rights” letter, or if your insurance company says there is no “coverage” for your claim due to a policy exclusion. It is imperative in all of the previous situations that you hire an attorney experienced in "insurance coverage" litigation. YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT YOU IN DEALING WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.
WHEN SHOULD I REFUSE TO GIVE A STATEMENT TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
If you think your insurance company is investigating you for fraud or any other type of criminal activity, IMMEDIATELY hire an attorney. DO NOT SPEAK TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY UNTIL YOU HIRE AN ATTORNEY! If you were cited with a traffic offense by the police officer in an auto accident, NEVER give a voluntary statement to the other driver's insurer. If you give a statement that involves you admitting to fault or a crime, it may be used against you in the future as an “admission against interest” (an evidentiary rule). Never give a statement to the "at fault" driver's insurance company, even if you think you were not "at fault" if you have a personal injury claim against the other driver.
SHOULD I GIVE A STATEMENT EVEN IF I WAS NOT AT FAULT?
I often tell clients that they do not decide who is "at fault" for an accident. Also, the police officers that respond to the accident scene and investigates may have an opinion, but they do not decide who is at fault. As an attorney, I do not decide who is “at fault” for a car accident, but I advocate that my client is free from fault as an attorney. Fault is a legal determination. It is determined by a judge or a jury applying legal standards established by Louisiana law to the facts.
Once again, NEVER GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE OTHER DRIVER'S INSURANCE COMPANY IF YOU HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM! There are many reasons why you should not give a statement to the other driver’s insurer. Police reports often have one or more mistakes in them. Police reports may mistakenly find you “at fault” based on an incomplete or faulty investigation. In my personal experience, over 50% of police reports contain different versions of the accident (“swearing contests”) that involve the drivers disagreeing on how the accident happened. If the police report identifies or has attached a statement by an "independent" witness placing all or part of the blame on you, it is clearly not in your best interest to give a statement to the other insurance company because your statements may be used against you if litigation is necessary. Remember, if you were injured in the accident, DO NOT give a statement to the other insurance company.
If you have any questions, you should contact a local attorney to discuss your rights and options. Give Wade Visconte a call today!
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