Talking to insurance companies can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you do not know what to expect. After a car accident, you may find yourself dealing with the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster quicker than expected while still trying to process what happened and focus on your injuries. As Los Angeles car accident lawyers, we often get asked, “What questions do insurance companies ask after an accident?” Below, we discuss questions the insurance company may ask, what to know about the process, and how you can protect your claim.

What to Expect When the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Contacts You

Have you suffered injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to contact you soon after the accident to conduct an interview.

The insurance adjuster will likely ask you a variety of car accident questions, from factual information about your car to your version of events. Generally, the insurance provider will seek information about the accident from your point of view. Insurance companies use this information to determine what happened, accident liability, and estimate the value of your car accident claim.Person handing out a pen and documents to a client

It is important to understand that the insurance company is not on your side. Anything you say, even if the insurance adjuster’s questions seem harmless, can affect the value of your claim. We only recommend speaking with the insurance company once you consult an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer or have hired one for your car accident case.

Common Questions Insurance Companies Ask After an Accident

There are many common questions insurance companies ask after an accident. Some of these questions will have factual answers and are okay to answer. Some questions you should not answer because your answers could hurt your claim.

Questions About the Accident You Should Answer

Examples of questions that you should answer include the following:

  • When and where did the accident happen? The insurance company will want to know the date, time, and location of the accident.
  • Can you identify your vehicle? You may need to provide details about your car, such as its year, make, and model. Additionally, you may need to provide your license plate number and the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Were other vehicles involved in the accident? The insurance adjuster may ask if other cars were involved and how many. You can also give names and contact information if you have it.
  • What type of damage did your vehicle experience? The insurance company will ask for information about the damage to your vehicle and when and where you got it serviced, if applicable.

Questions About the Accident You Should Not Answer Before Retaining an Attorney

In addition to factual-based questions, the insurance company will likely ask you how the accident occurred. You can count on it to look for any reason to remove some of the accident responsibility from its insured and place partial blame on you.

Because of this objective, we do not recommend answering these questions until you have retained an attorney to protect your rights. A few examples of these questions may include the following:

  • What were you doing immediately before the accident? The insurance company may ask you to describe your actions directly before the accident. It wants to evaluate whether your actions contributed to the crash. For example, were you talking on the phone, or did you take your eye off the road?
  • Were you wearing your seat belt? The insurance company wants to know if you were breaking the law when the accident occurred. The insurance company could use that to say you were partially responsible for your injuries for failing to wear your seat belt.
  • What direction were you headed? The insurance company may ask about your destination and where you were coming from. For example, were you late for an appointment, so you were in a hurry? The insurance company will look for any way to place blame on you.
  • Was there anyone in the car with you? Did you have passengers at the time of the accident? The insurance company will want to know who, if anyone, was in the car with you and their contact information so that they can interview them.
  • What happened? The insurance company will ask for your version of events, including how the accident occurred and who you think was responsible.
  • Were there any car accident witnesses? The insurance company will ask for any witnesses’ names and contact information to interview them.Cars driving on a busy road

Questions About Your Damages You Should Not Answer

Additionally, the insurance companies will likely ask you questions about damages beyond your vehicle. Again, we do not recommend answering these questions. The insurance company can use your answers to minimize traumatic injuries and the extent of your damages. Examples of questions the insurance company may ask about your injuries include the following:

  • Did you sustain any injuries? The insurance company will want to know if you suffered any injuries. However, you may not know the severity of your damages until you have received more medical attention.
  • When did you receive medical attention? The insurance company wants to know how long you waited to receive medical attention if you did not get it at the accident scene. The longer you wait, the more room the insurance company has to blame your injuries on something else.
  • Do you have pre-existing conditions? The insurance company can try to say that the accident did not cause your injuries because you were already injured from pre-existing conditions.

Do I Have to Answer Questions From the Insurance Company?

After a car accident, you may be hesitant to answer questions from the insurance company, especially if you are unsure of your legal rights. While the other driver’s insurance provider may act as if you must speak with them, you are not obligated to talk to the other party’s insurance company.

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We do not recommend talking to the other driver’s insurance company without a car accident attorney. The insurance company will look for anything you say as an admission of liability or to downplay your damages. An experienced car accident lawyer can handle the insurance company on your behalf and ensure your rights and best interests are protected.

What Not to Say to the Insurance Company after an Accident

If you choose to speak with the other party’s insurance company, it is important to have a clear understanding of what not to say. You should only provide factual information about the accident. Making any assumptions about the accident or your damages can hurt your insurance claim. We do not recommend talking about the following topics:

  • Your injuries. Do not talk about your injuries. You may not know the severity or extent of your injuries right after an accident. You should not communicate about them until you have completed your medical treatment, have medical records as support, and know the extent of your medical bills. Even answering a seemingly innocent question like “How are you?” could be used against you later.
  • Accident fault. The insurance adjuster may ask you for your version of events and how you think the accident occurred. Do not make assumptions. Even saying something as harmless as “sorry” could admit guilt on your part.

Instead of answering questions about injuries or accident fault, you can tell the insurance adjuster you are not prepared to discuss them. You can say that you are receiving medical treatment, and you cannot make statements about fault.Person handing out documents to a client

Do I Need to Call My Car Insurance Company If the Other Driver Caused the Accident?

You must contact your insurance company after any car accident, even if the other driver caused the accident. Even though you may pursue damages against the other driver’s insurance company, you need to notify your insurance company of the accident for several reasons.

First, your insurance policy requires you to notify your provider in the event of an accident. You will also need to provide them with specific information about the car crash. For example, you should be able to tell your provider about your vehicle’s damages, involved parties, and whether a police report was filed. Your policy should state how long you have to report the accident.

Suppose the other driver’s insurance company cannot cover all of the damages resulting from the accident. In that case, you may need to turn to your own insurance company. For example, you may need to rely on your insurance coverage. However, your provider may deny coverage if you did not report the accident.

Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys cannot stress this point enough – regardless of whether you talk to your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, stick to the facts of the accident. You do not have to provide more information than necessary.

You do not want to share any information that may suggest you shared fault for the crash or that your injuries are not that serious. Why? You may need to turn to your insurance company and do not want to give it any reason to undervalue or deny your insurance claim.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me With the Insurance Companies?

Dealing with insurance companies alone after an accident can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when trying to recover from your injuries. Additionally, insurance companies can use anything you say to hurt the value of your claim.

A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the entire legal process after an accident, ensuring you understand your legal rights and protecting you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. They can handle all communication with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Additionally, your attorney will ensure you do not agree to a low settlement and fight for your right to maximum compensation for your damages.

What Questions Do Insurance Companies Ask After an Accident?

Contact Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers About Your Situation

Have you recently suffered injuries in a car accident? An experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process while ensuring your rights are protected.

At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we help California accident victims pursue the compensation they deserve after an accident. We welcome you to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer from our firm to determine how we may be able to help.

We offer a free, no-risk consultation to answer your questions and help you understand your best legal options. Call us at (800) 824-5416 or fill out our online contact form to get started.