Dealing With The Other Driver’s Insurance Company in Fairfield.

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Dealing with the other driver’s insurance company in Fairfield.

The other driver’s insurance company is not your friend.  After a car accident, when the insurance company contacts you, they’re not trying to help you. Their only goal is to protect their money, which means not paying you or, if they do pay, paying you an unfair amount.  They also want to dissuade you from hiring a personal injury lawyer.

If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, know this: You have no obligation to cooperate with them, and be aware that the other driver’s insurance company will try to get a few things from you, such as:  

1. A recorded statement.

Their goal is to get you on record talking about the accident. You might ask, “What’s the harm? I’ll simply tell them the truth and explain that the crash was the other person’s fault.” The harm is you might say something that is taken out of context about either the crash or your injuries. Even if 99% of your statement is helpful for you, they’ll simply ignore that portion and weaponize (or use against you) the 1% that hurts your case. There is almost never a good reason to give the other driver’s insurance a recorded statement.  Your personal injury attorney may be able to fix an inconsistency in your recorded statement, but why give any extra ammo to the insurance company?

2. An authorization for the mto obtain your medical records.

Signing a medical authorization (also called a HIPAA authorization) is very dangerous. It gives them the right to see all your medical records. Depending on how they word the authorization, they might be able to see your accident-related medical records and prior medical records. Again, their goal is to find anything they can use against you, such as a prior injury they can blame your current pain on. There is almost never a good reason to give the other driver’s insurance access to your medical records.  The only time you should provide medical records is after you’ve hired an experienced car accident lawyer.

3. A release to settle your case.

You might be surprised to learn they could offer you a few hundred dollars to settle your case for things like your “inconvenience.”  This is a trap.  Because you were just in a car accident, you might not know the extent of your injuries. Some injuries take time to manifest, especially since your adrenaline is running high right after the crash. It’s not uncommon for people to think a minor ache or pain will go away, only to find out they suffered a more serious sprain, strain, or even a herniated disc. By signing a release, you are agreeing to forfeit any future compensation for what might be a much more severe injury.  You also have given up your right to seek advice from a car accident attorney who can shed light on the value of your case.

Just Say No!

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls you up, just say no—no recorded statements, no signed statements, no signed authorizations for medical records, and no signed releases of your claim. Remember, the other driver’s insurance company wants to destroy your case, not help you. You do not have to cooperate with them, and it is almost always harmful if you do.

If the other driver’s insurance company sends you harassing letters, use this template to respond:

Insurance Company Name
Insurance Company Address
File No/Claim No.:  
Date of Loss: 

Dear Ms. Insurance Adjuster,

Thank you for your letter of [date]. I can confirm I suffered personal injuries due to the negligence of your insured, [name], on [date].  

I decline to provide a recorded statement or any authorizations. Please kindly respect my decision and do not send further requests.

I am not ready to discuss my injuries or my claim in more detail. You will hear from me or my attorney at the appropriate time.

Thank you,
Salley Jones 

NOTE: Remember to keep all copies of letters from the other driver’s insurance company. Your car accident lawyer might want to see them later.

 The file number or claim number can usually be found on all letters sent to you by the insurance company. If you haven’t received any letters, you will need to call the insurance company and reference the other driver’s insurance policy as found on the police report (or the photo you took) and find out their claim number.

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