The short answer is absolutely not! Under South Carolina law, attorneys are prohibited from blindly soliciting or contacting injured parties directly or indirectly for 30 days after a collision causing injuries. This actually makes sense to protect families from getting assaulted by numerous inquiries from lawyers during a time of healing or grief. However, nothing prohibits insurance companies from immediately contacting injured people and their families following an accident. This creates a very unfair advantage for the insurers, who can obtain recorded statements from parties and witnesses without them having the benefit of legal representation. Insurers know this, and use the opportunity to ask questions directly benefiting their own bottom lines and creating a record that can later be used against injured parties.
After the dust settles following an accident the injured party typically reaches out to open a claim to address the property damage caused by the collision. When this occurs, the insurance adjuster or claim representative will want to discuss the circumstances of the auto accident. The insurance adjuster will discuss your property damage and personal health status following the crash. It is very important to not discuss anything related to your personal injuries with the insurance adjuster because anything you say can and will be used against you. They will twist your words and use them against you in order to offer you less money. Simply saying that you “did not see the car before impact” or stating that “I’m okay” will be thrown in your face down the road. Remember, the insurance companies make money off of individuals settling for as little your claim for as little as possible. Often their goal is to minimize your injuries, dispute liability, or berate or bully you to encourage you to settle. They also want to discourage you from hiring an attorney to even the playing field. Don’t let them trick you. Studies have shown that people who hire attorneys obtain settlements or verdicts an average of three times higher than if they go it alone. That is incentive alone for the insurer to try to stop that process.
Topics you should avoid while speaking with the insurance adjuster about the accident:
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- Your medical treatment or where you treated
- When your treatment began or ended
- Where your next appointment is scheduled
- Negotiating a settlement
If you were injured by a driver with minimum limits insurance, you may receive compensation from your own provider, depending on your policy. If an insurance company asks if you have been injured or not following a wreck, feel free to let them know that you are injured, that your Greenville injury lawyer is handling your case, and they should call your attorney. Once you tell them that you are represented, the insurer must stop asking questions. It may be necessary to give an interview moving forward, but we never allow recordings and we can advise you on how to avoid landmines and provide information without gutting your case.
If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident that is not your fault, call the Greenville car accident attorneys at Hammack Law Firm. Our attorneys, Paul Hammack and Jamie Ackermann, have over 30 years of combined experience working on the defense side. They know first-hand how the insurance companies will use information against you. Don’t settle for a lesser amount in your case. Call the experienced professionals of Hammack Law Firm today at 864-326-3333 for your free consultation!
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