After suffering injuries in a serious collision, you may get a phone call you don’t expect from the at-fault party. They may get in touch to verify details about the crash or work out a deal without going through insurance, so no one’s premiums increase. However, this situation can cost you a great deal if you communicate with the person responsible for the crash. No matter why the liable driver attempts to speak with you, this is one clear instance where you want to take a “less is more” approach.
Navigating a Phone Call From the at-Fault Driver
A call out of the blue from the other person in the wreck often leaves a car crash survivor stunned. You might just start answering questions to be polite, or you may be unsure of how to approach the conversation or which topics you should discuss.
Many people reflexively say things like “sorry” to smooth over tense situations with someone who appears agitated or sad. However, the at-fault party is typically banking on that exact response.
The more they can get you to talk (or text or direct message through social media, etc.), the better chance they have to trip you up and get you to admit fault in some way. Even small talk may be misinterpreted or taken out of context by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider and used as an admission of accident liability.
The full extent of your contact with the other driver should exclusively consist of exchanging insurance information at the scene of the crash. Once you have their insurance info and they have yours, all interaction should immediately cease. Do not speak with the at-fault driver in any other capacity.
What to Do if the at-Fault Driver Calls
- Let them know the contact info for your lawyer and insurance provider. Tell them you have nothing to say, and refer the other driver to speak with those sources instead.
- Remain polite, but beyond providing contact info for relevant parties, don’t say anything to the other driver in any way. This is especially important if the at-fault party is aggressive or trying to provoke an angry response. No matter what they say, your priority should be de-escalation and ending the encounter.
- Resist the urge to post about the crash or the encounter with the driver on social media. Anything you post may be misconstrued and used against you to deny or reduce your compensation.
- Tell your attorney about the call immediately.
Seek Maximum Financial Recovery With a Skilled Car Accident Attorney
An unexpected phone call is just one of several ways an insurer or the at-fault party can cause problems for a car accident victim. Even if someone else obviously caused the wreck through negligence, they will still typically prefer that you end up on the hook for your own medical bills and property damage costs. This is why it’s so critical to have an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney on your side.
Your strongest chance of recovering all the compensation you deserve is by retaining a skilled attorney. Taking care of calls from the at-fault party is only one small part of a lawyer’s job when representing you in a car accident case.
Ways an Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident
- Gather evidence to accurately determine the liable party
- Handle deadlines in filing
- Place a clear value on your damages
Having an accurate assessment of your damages is especially important if you can’t work due to the injury but still have astronomical hospital bills. With an attorney advocating on your behalf, it’s much more likely all your damages will be reflected in any settlement, from emergency room bills to loss of income and even pain and suffering.