When Silence Is the Best Answer: 3 Questions You Should Never Answer in an Auto Insurance Settlement

Posted on 25 October 2018 by Tony Santos

If you have been in a car accident in the Orlando area, you are not alone. In 2016, there were 1,081 vehicle accidents per day in Florida. The total of 395,785 vehicle accidents produced 254,155 injuries including 21,645 incapacitating injuries plus 3,176 fatalities (A Safer Florida Traffic Crash Results).

So, the facts of your situation may lie in the numbers. You may find yourself being sued by the other party to the accident. Or, you may be the claimant trying to get what you need from the insurance companies involved to be made financially whole again.

If you want that settlement to be fair and satisfying, there are at least three questions you should never answer in an auto insurance settlement.

What happened?

You should not talk to anyone who represents the other party to your car accident. Insurance adjusters or lawyers may try to contact you with a simple question about what happened. But, you should simply refer them to your car accident attorney.

Will you just sign here?

It may seem natural to sign a lot of papers during a claims process. But, you should never sign anything you have not read thoroughly. And, in the case of an auto insurance settlement, those forms can be complicated. You could inadvertently sign away rights and commit to a settlement that does not meet your needs.

How are you feeling?

When the other driver or their representative asks how you feel, it may not be an innocent question. If compensation for personal injury is part of the issue, you can change the settlement discussion by saying that you are feeling great.

 

When silence is the best answer

Most insurance adjusters are good people. They know their jobs well, and like other people, they take pride in their work. But, they work for insurance companies that are for-profit businesses. They are expected to keep the costs low while serving their customers well.

They are not inclined by circumstances to give money away. They have strict protocols to follow and need as much information as they can secure to explain and justify the settlement they offer. But, you have a right to remain silent.

Whether a car accident settlement reaches a sensitive debate or difficult impasse, you may need legal representation. According to the American Bar Association, “The purpose of settlement negotiations is to arrive at agreements satisfactory to those whom a lawyer represents and consistent with law and relevant rules of professional responsibility. During settlement negotiations and in concluding a settlement, a lawyer is the client’s representative and fiduciary, and should act in the client’s best interest and in furtherance of the client’s lawful goals,”

And, an attorney’s first advice will be to hold your own counsel; that is, you should let the attorney represent you in negotiations and throughout the settlement process. That will mean never answering certain questions.

Categorized | Car Insurance, Car News, Car Tips

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