We advise that you do not give a statement to the insurance company after an accident because your statement could be used to blame the accident on you.
When You Speak with an Insurance Representative They May Think You’re Not Injured
Another problem we often encounter is that the insurance claims representative tells us “your client said he wasn’t really hurt” or “your client never mentioned he hurt his shoulder”.
Later, when the pain from an injury doesn’t go away or becomes worse, we get a call. Now, the insurance claims representative may think we’re trying to create injuries that don’t exist and refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer. This can force us to start a lawsuit that can add years to your case.
So this doesn’t happen to you, it’s important to understand why you might not be aware of all your injuries after an accident.
Why You May Not Know About Your Injuries After an Accident
Often, some injuries are not immediately obvious because the pain from one injury distracts from other injuries. For instance, the pain from a broken rib can mask the pain from a torn ligament. Months later when the rib pain subsides, the pain from the torn ligament becomes a problem. Months after that, your doctor says you need surgery.
Often, people just don’t realize they were seriously hurt until weeks or even months after the accident. Many clients thought they just sprained a knee or shoulder and thought it would go away but when the pain doesn’t go away and they get an MRI months later, they find out that it wasn’t a sprain but a ligament tear requiring surgery.
Symptoms from a lifelong brain injury caused by a concussion are often noticed months after an accident but are not recognized as having been caused by the accident. For instance, someone may notice they have become forgetful, irritable, or have difficulty sleeping but not realize why.
Unfortunately, emergency room doctors are only concerned with keeping patients alive and never refer patients to appropriate medical professionals for follow-up after a concussion.
Because one of our clients spoke with an insurance representative several times before calling us, the insurance representative said he sounded fine and didn’t believe he had a brain injury so we made a 3-D color video of the hospital CT scan showing the bleeding in his brain.
What Happens When You Speak with an Insurance Company
At best, speaking with the insurance company makes it harder to settle your case and makes it take longer. At worst, it may substantially devalue your case or even make it worthless.
Don’t forget, anytime you speak with an insurance representative, you are being recorded and your statement can be used against you at trial. The insurance representative is not on your side and is trying to get information to protect the insurance company.
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, call us immediately after an accident. But if you already gave one or more statements, we still want to represent you.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.