Top 10 Questions Insurance Companies Will Ask After a Car Accident in New York
It’s important to understand the top questions insurance companies will ask after a car accident in New York. Learn more about the types of questions you'll be asked how to prepare.
Do You Have A Lawyer?It’s strongly suggested that you consult with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your wreck. An insurance agent may possibly inquire if you have a representative. However, it’s possible that they will at first avoid that question and try and get as much information from you before they have to deal with your legal counsel. Either way, speaking with your lawyer before communicating with an insurance company will greatly increase the likelihood of a fair financial recovery for you and your family.
Who Do You Think Was At Fault?Insurance companies look for any evidence to prove that their policy holder was not at fault in a wreck. It can be difficult to know which party or parties hold fault in your accident. For this reason it’s best to not discuss fault with an insurance provider until your lawyer is present. Insurance companies will seek to determine if one of the following is true so that they can avoid paying you damages:
● Their policy holder is not at fault - If a third party holds fault, then the insurance company may work to avoid any financial responsibility toward you and your family.
● You hold partial fault - New York’s negligence laws allow for your damages to be reduced by your share of fault for the accident. Insurance companies will work hard to fight your claim if they think there is any evidence that you hold some fault for your injuries.
What Are Your Injuries?Insurance companies will need to know the extent of your injuries before they can calculate the damages that they might have to pay out. It’s a terrible idea to lie about the extent of your injuries. However, it’s also possible that you won’t know the full harm that you suffered for weeks or even months after your accident. For this reason it’s best to not describe your injuries to an insurance provider. Your doctors can work with your attorney to provide the appropriate evidence to the insurance company.
What Were You Doing During The Moment Of Your Accident?Having a record of everything that happened in your accident is important. This is why lawyers often ask clients to write down a detailed timeline of events leading up to their injury. An insurance company representative will ask this question to determine if you were distracted or careless and therefore hold fault for your injuries. They’ll be looking to seek if you were distracted while behind the wheel by one of the following:
● Your passengers
● Your phone or radio
● Eating or drinking food
● Mechanical problems with your vehicle
Where Were You Coming From And Going To When Your Accident Occurred?This generally seems to be an odd question. Why does it matter where I was before my accident, or where I was going to when I was in a wreck? The insurance company may be asking this in order to determine if you may have been affected by alcohol, running late to an engagement, or perhaps even suffering from exhaustion. Giving them unnecessary information can only harm your claim.
Who Are The Witnesses To Your Accident?The insurance companies will have to do their due diligence in investigating your accident once a claim is filed. It’s understandable that they will want to know who witnessed your wreck. However, an incomplete list of witnesses can maybe leave the insurance provider with only a limited part of the story. Before furnishing a witness list, speak with your lawyer and determine everyone who may be able to provide valuable information about your injury.
When Did You Get Medical Attention For Your Injuries?This question is meant to determine how valid, and serious, your physical injuries are. It’s important to understand that the insurance company will not have to pay damages for physical harm that is unrelated to your car accident. However, they also want to gather all evidence that could illustrate that your injuries are not serious. While it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, things can get complicated. You may not be able to get an appointment with a specialist for days or even weeks. Be sure to consult with your attorney about the treatment that you need for your injuries. Your attorney can then help you better respond to this crucial question.
Did You Miss Work After Your Accident?The insurance companies may be on the hook to pay you damages for lost wages and even lost future earning potential. However, they’ll work hard to determine if any missed work was directly related to your accident. Be sure to report your physical limitation to your employer after an accident, and then make a detailed record of the hours and days you were unable to work. An injury lawyer can help you recover damages for the following:
● Lost wages
● Lost future earnings
● Training for work needs due to limitations from your accident
Will You Allow This Conversation To Be Recorded?It’s important to not go on the record with your insurance provider without your lawyer being present. This is because it’s possible that you may unknowingly give them reason to not pay out damages for your injuries. New York’s consent laws only require one party to consent to the recording of a phone conversation. For this reason, it’s advisable to not speak with an insurance representative without first talking to your lawyer.
Will You Sign A Release Form?Do not sign anything without consulting with your lawyer first. The insurance company will be trying to get your case to go away quickly. To do this while also reducing their costs, they may try and have you sign a document that releases them from any responsibility to pay you. Before signing anything, or accepting any compensation, speak with your attorney first. You may miss out on damages you deserve if you prematurely release the insurance companies from any requirement to pay you what you need.