In Tennessee, many people spend their days on state highways traveling for work, going back and forth from jobs, and visiting friends and family. Time on the road, whether it be day or night, opens the opportunity for an accident. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, 47,987 crashes occurred from 2007 to the present. If a collision happens, victims of negligent driving can be left defenseless. This frightening situation brings up many big questions, including: “What’s next?” and “Who pays for this?”
The most important aspects of an accident are the health and well-being of the people involved. It is paramount to seek medical help and check for injuries. Once all is said and done and the police leave the scene, the insurance company enters the picture. Less is more when it comes to providing information, in some cases.
Who should receive a statement?
The opposing insurance company will not be on the side of the victim in an accident. Their main goal is to make money, and they will do whatever they can to pay the minimum. Victims of car accidents and wrecks may need compensation for a list of different things, such as physical injury, emotional damage and medical repairs. Even if the insurance company applies pressure, some things are better left unsaid:
- A statement.Any statements from the injured party could be used against them in the legal process.
- A summary immediately after the accident. Depending on the insurance company’s policy on timeframe, it may be beneficial to take a few days after the accident to fully process what just happened and calculate the damage.
- An apology. An insurance agentwill want the scoop immediately. Avoid admitting fault, apologizing, or claiming to feel “fine” until further investigation.
- Any contact information. If insurance companies are unable to get the information from the victim, they might to try to contact family or friends. Legally, the victim does not need to give out contact information.
What should be signed?
The answer is not a medical release form, and not for the insurance company. It can sabotage a victims’ chances of fair compensation when access to medical records is given to insurance companies. Without any limits or restrictions, insurance companies can dig out information that could harm a legal claim.
What if a settlement is offered?
You have several options if the insurance company sends over a settlement offer. Often the first offer is not enough to compensate for the physical and emotional damage, medical bills and other long-term issues in the wake of the wreck.
What can be done?
Seeking legal counsel is important before dealing with an insurance company. An insurance company is not in the business to advocate for the victim of an accident. An attorney can assist in reviewing and accepting a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not produce a fair settlement, filing for a lawsuit may be the next step. Victims of car accidents may experience physical and financial suffering, and they are entitled to claim all damages.