You’ve been hurt in a bike crash. You need medical care and you need money to repair or replace your bike. You know you need to turn to your insurance provider to get the money you need. But doing so comes with many hidden dangers that could result in you not getting most or any of the funds you are due under your policy. The best way to move forward, then, is to know what you should and should not say to your insurer after a crash.
Your Insurer Is Not Your Friend
Yes, you pay your insurance provider money to cover you in the event of a loss. But that does not mean your insurance provider is on your side. Knowing this, it is important you follow these three rules to protect yourself against the main dangers of speaking to the insurance company after a bike crash.
- Do not confide in your insurance adjuster. After an accident, it is absolutely natural to want to talk through what happened with anyone you feel can help you. But remember this: your insurance provider is not there to help you—he is there to help his company make a profit. So even if the adjuster you speak with seems nice, know that he or she is trying to find any way possible to limit payout on your claim. For this reason, it is imperative that you speak only to the necessary details of the accident and leave all else for another time.
- Do not question your role in the accident when speaking to your adjuster. When speaking with friend, family, or other close individuals about difficult situations, we are often prone to statements that start with, “If only…” You need to be careful not to do that here. If someone else was at fault for the crash, you want to keep all eyes on that other person. By being hesitant or saying, “I could’ve stopped it, I suppose, if only I had…” you risk limiting your chances at a full financial recovery.
- Do not allow your adjuster to record your statements. Your adjuster will ask you nicely if it is okay if they record your statement. You are under no obligation to say yes that request. In fact, saying “yes” could hurt you. All you need to say when asked is this, “No, I’m not giving you a recorded statement, because I do not have to.”
So Why Call My Insurer After a Crash at All?
You likely suffered injuries in your crash. Your bike and gear may be damaged or completely ruined. The accident wasn’t your fault. You deserve compensation.
To get that compensation, you must submit a claim through your auto insurance provider. There is no getting around this. But by following the three tenets above, you can protect yourself from most dangers. You can even better prepare yourself by speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer first.
Key Takeaway: Call a Lawyer First
I know this sounds cliché, but it is truly important to speak with a lawyer before you take any big actions after a bike crash. The reason is this: A lawyer can prep you on what you should and should not directly share with your insurance provider. If your insurer demands a recorded statement or in-person meeting, your lawyer can be present with you to hear the questions that you are asked and to help you know how to respond. Through representation, you give yourself your best chance at achieving full and fair recovery after an accident.
Attorney Daniel J. Brazil of The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil is an experienced personal injury attorney with offices located in Uptown. He has a passion for the outdoors, especially cycling and climbing. Learn more about Dan and his practice by following him on Twitter (@LawDanielBrazil and #MplsBikeAttorney). The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil are sponsors of Minneapolis Bike Month.