In general, it is not a good idea to give the insurance company a recorded statement without first getting representation from a car accident attorney. There are many pitfalls you could fall into by speaking with the at-fault driver’s insurance company without guidance from a car accident lawyer, and it could compromise your ability to hold the driver accountable and recover compensation.
We encourage you to reach out to our team for a complimentary case evaluation before you speak to anyone representing the insurers involved in your case. If you must talk to them, give them only statements of facts—when the accident occurred, where it occurred, and who was in your car. Do not discuss your injuries or damages, and do not explain what you believe occurred.
The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side
You should give the insurance company a recorded statement only after you have spoken with a car accident attorney who has recommended that you do so. The main thing to remember is that insurance companies do not work for accident victims. Representatives are tasked with paying out as little as possible to satisfy you, worrying about protecting their company instead of compensating you fairly.
In fact, some insurance companies will use tactics to have car accident victims say something that could be used against them. Giving them a recorded statement without guidance from an attorney will not help your insurance claim, but it could seriously hamper your ability to recover fair compensation.
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Saying the Wrong Thing to an Insurance Carrier Could Cost You
No matter what you say in a recorded statement to the insurance company, they will likely analyze it to try to find something to use against you. This may mean taking what you said out of context to increase your degree of comparative negligence—sharing in the blame for the cause of the accident.
Under Georgia comparative negligence laws, codified in O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7, you can recover compensation as long as you are 49 percent or less at fault. However, having a statement that confirms you shared fault in causing an accident could significantly reduce the payout you are able to recover. Depending on the statement, it could even cost you the right to hold the other driver responsible.
Be aware that insurance companies may record calls and will generally ask for your permission to record your phone call. So even if they do not say, “will you make a recorded statement?” anything you say to them over the telephone could be a recorded statement and harm your case.
Having Legal Representation Can Protect Your Rights
One of the roles of a car accident attorney during an insurance claim or personal injury suit is to handle all related communication with the insurance company, law firm representing the at-fault driver, and the court. While this service not only reduces the stress on you and allows you to focus fully on healing from your injuries, it also protects your right to hold the other driver accountable for their negligent actions.
Saying the wrong thing to the insurance company or another involved party could cost you thousands of dollars in damages or limit your ability to secure financial recovery regardless of the value of the losses you suffered.
When you have a personal injury attorney representing you, that attorney will understand the ways insurance companies and their lawyers will try to reduce the payout they have to offer you. If necessary, your attorney may be able to walk you through what to say in a recorded statement or in your court testimony, ensuring your statements do not hurt your case for compensation.
An Auto Accident Lawyer Will Seek Fair Compensation on Your Behalf
Georgia car accident attorneys understand how these cases work under the state’s auto accident and personal injury laws. Your attorney will help you build a case to prove fault and accountability, holding the liable driver responsible for the damages you sustained in the accident. As a part of their investigation into your case, they will also document damages such as:
- Medical treatment and related costs
- Lost income and missed wages
- Diminished ability to earn a living
- Out-of-pocket expenses you can recoup
- Property damages and vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering losses
This evaluation will allow them to put a fair settlement value on your case and pursue a payout that compensates you justly. Without this step, any settlement could be significantly lower than you deserve, even if it seems like a lot of money. Discussing any settlement offer with an attorney who handles car accidents in Atlanta regularly is a good idea, even if you want to try to handle negotiations on your own.
If your attorney finds that the insurance company falls short of agreeing to a fair settlement offer, O.C.G.A § 9-3-33 gives accident victims the right to take up to two years to pursue a personal injury lawsuit following most accidents.
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Discuss Your Case With a Member of the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Team Today for Free
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, our team can go to work today, protecting your rights and pursuing the payout you deserve based on your losses. Our team offers complimentary case evaluations. If we believe you have a case against the driver who caused your accident, we will represent you based on contingency. This means that our attorney fees are contingent on our ability to reach a settlement or win your court case.
You can speak to a member of our team about your case for free today by calling (404) 888-8888. We encourage you to reach out to us for your complimentary consultation before you speak to the insurance company or another involved party about your case.