Dos and Don'ts with an Insurance Company After an Accident
Alarmingly, serious car accidents increased in 2020—despite people driving less. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the car accident fatality rate skyrocketed by more than 24 percent nationwide. With more serious crashes being reported, it is imperative that you know what you should and should not do when dealing with the insurance company after a collision.
It is normal to have a lot of questions about what to do after a crash. Here, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys highlight the dos and don’ts of dealing with an insurance company after a car accident. If you have any specific questions, please call Naqvi Injury Law for an immediate, free consultation with an experienced lawyer.
What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do When Dealing With an Insurance Company
Is it Illegal to Not Give Insurance Details After an Accident?
DO provide insurance information to all other parties involved in the accident. Under Nevada state law (NRS § 484E.030), drivers have a legal duty to give information and render aid. Among other things, this duty includes a responsibility to provide “name, address and the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving.” Additionally, drivers should provide their insurance policy information to other parties. Failure to provide information that is required by law could subject a driver to legal penalties, potentially including the suspension of their license.
Do I Have to Tell My Insurance Company that I Was Involved in a Collision?
DO provide notification to your insurance carrier. While Nevada law technically does not require drivers to tell their insurer, your policy almost certainly does contain some type of notification provision. If you fail to notify your insurer that a crash occurred, it could potentially void your coverage. Make sure you have a basic understanding of the policy requirements. As a general rule, it is best to provide basic notification to your insurance company. This simply means telling them that a crash occurred. You do not need to know all of the details. Many insurance companies now allow policyholders to alert them about an accident online or through an app.
Can I Discuss Fault With an Insurance Adjuster?
DON’T admit or accept any blame for an accident. It is not your responsibility to figure out who caused an accident, especially when you do not have all of the information. Nevada is a fault-based car accident state. If you are assigned even partial liability for a crash, it will take money out of your pocket. Insurers will try to push blame onto injured victims to reduce their own liability. Let an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer deal with the issue of fault.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
DON’T give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance provider. You may get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurer within a few days of the crash. Often, you will speak to a friendly sounding representative who just “wants to ask a few questions” about the accident. Be aware: Insurance adjusters are trained to protect the financial interests of the company. They are not on your side. You are not required by Nevada law to give a recorded statement during this stage of the process. It is best to deal with insurers through an attorney.
Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to deal with insurance companies after a car accident. One minute the insurer is pressuring you to give a recorded statement, the next the insurance company is stalling. The single most important step that you can take to protect your rights is hiring a top Las Vegas car accident attorney as early as possible after a crash. The sooner you have a lawyer on your team, the better your chances to recover the full financial support that you rightfully deserve under Nevada state law.
Should I Sign a Medical Authorization After a Car Accident?
DON’T sign a medical authorization that gives an insurer full access to your medical history. Indeed, you should not release your medical records to another party’s insurance company without first discussing the matter with your lawyer. While it is true that the insurer will eventually need medical records and information to process your claim, they do not have a right to dig through your entire medical history.
The reason why insurance companies want you to sign a full medical authorization is that they want to comb through your records to see if they can blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition. Their strategy is to try to find a way to reduce the value of your settlement or verdict. You do not have to turn over your full medical history. A skilled Las Vegas car accident lawyer will make sure that the insurance company only gets the medical records that are truly relevant to the crash.
Should I Sign an Insurance Release After an Accident?
DON’T sign an insurance release until you are 100 percent sure you are getting the full and fair financial settlement offer that you rightfully deserve. It is a big mistake to let the insurance company pressure you into taking the first settlement offer. In this context, an ‘insurance release’ is essentially another name for a settlement. By signing the release, you are ending the case. You are giving up your right to file a car accident lawsuit. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that: Most car accident injury claims are settled outside of court.
That being said, the devil is always in the details. An unfair, lowball settlement offer should never be signed. On the other hand, a full and fair settlement offer that provides you the maximum financial compensation for your damages—vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.—can be signed. Is the insurance company truly offering a full settlement in exchange for signing a release? An experienced car accident attorney will tell you.
Should I Deal With the Insurance Company Through an Attorney?
DO hire an attorney if you or your loved one was injured in a car accident. There is a reason why you see so many car insurance commercials on television. These companies have a lot of money at their disposal. Big corporations are not interested in paying out even more than a penny than they get away with. In the aftermath of a car accident, insurance companies waste no time in preparing their legal defense strategy. Their entire goal is to pay you and your family as little as possible.
You need a top-rated attorney in your corner. Your lawyer will take care of all paperwork, correspondence, and settlement discussions with the insurance company. Car accident claims are complicated—especially if you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in the crash. Your Las Vegas, NV car accident lawyer will make sure that your case is handled the right way.
Get Free Legal Advice from a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
At Naqvi Injury Law, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys are proud to be the region’s top advocates for injured victims and their families. If you were hurt in a collision in Clark County and you have any questions about dealing with the insurance company, we are more than ready to get started on your case. Call us now or contact us online to schedule your free, fully confidential consultation. You pay nothing until we win your case. With an office in Las Vegas, we handle car accident insurance claims throughout all of Southern Nevada, including in Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Summerlin.