Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company after a Tampa car accident?
Posted By Darrigo & Diaz
As Tampa car accident attorneys, we get asked this question a lot: “Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident?” While all cases are different, we strongly advise anyone who has been injured in a Tampa car accident to not speak with the other driver’s insurance company without first consulting a lawyer. In this blog, we explain why and provide some useful tips on how to handle this situation.
What happens after a Tampa car accident?
Let’s set the scene. Say another driver rear-ends you in Tampa. Oftentimes, the person who rear-ends you is at-fault. Therefore, under Florida’s comparative negligence law, the at-fault driver is accountable for financial damages. This can include property damage, such as a totaled car, or personal injuries, such as medical bills. However, if the at-fault driver has insurance, it will be their insurance company who will cover your damages. Therefore, it is not uncommon for you to receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company in the days or weeks after a car accident.
Why is the other driver’s insurance company calling you?
Regardless of how obvious it may be that the other driver is responsible for the accident, their insurance company will try to downplay the extent of the damages or even the fault of their client. Why? The other driver’s insurance company wants to minimize how much they must pay out. By calling you directly, the insurance adjuster may try to get you to admit partial fault or provide information that they can use against you. Therefore, you must be very careful when speaking to the other driver’s insurance company.
However, speaking to your own insurance company after a car accident in Tampa is another story. With your own insurance, you have a duty to cooperate with their investigation. So, you can speak with your insurance company and give a recorded statement. Just don’t do it for the other driver’s insurance company. And if in doubt, consult with a Tampa car accident attorney.
Are you legally obligated to talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
You are not legally obligated to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, you should never give an insurance company a recorded statement without first consulting with a Tampa car accident attorney. At Darrigo & Diaz, consultations are always free of charge for car accident victims. If you are involved in a Tampa car accident, call our attorneys right away at (813) 437-5523. We can help you understand your legal options, and we can protect you from the other driver’s insurance company.
Tips when speaking to the other driver’s insurance company
If you do decide to speak with the other driver’s insurance company without consulting a lawyer, here are a few tips to help protect you.
1. Always remember that the goal of the other driver’s insurance company is to minimize how much they must pay. They want to find proof that you are partly to blame for the accident. Or, they want to downplay your damages. So don’t tell the adjuster that you “may have done something wrong” or “feel fine” or that your “injuries are minor.” They can use your words against you.
2. Only answer questions that are asked. Do not willingly offer additional information or give them permission to record your statement over the phone. A documented or recorded statement can lock you into a specific version of the story.
3. Don’t think about what happened or talk about it. 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 car accident in Tampa?
Call Darrigo & Diaz immediately at (813) 437-5523
If you are injured in a car accident in Tampa, you should contact Darrigo & Diaz immediately. We are experienced car accident attorneys and we’ve dealt with many insurance companies and their adjusters. We will protect your rights. Our expertise ensures that our clients receive fair and just compensation.
We offer free consultations and you do not have to pay anything unless we win your case.