One of the more common questions I get from people who have been involved in a car crash in North Dakota relates to talking to insurance adjusters. First, let’s set the scene. Imagine you are involved in a car crash while driving to go Christmas shopping and are injured. You, of course, have car insurance. The person who hit you is definitely at fault, and they have insurance as well. You file the claim with your insurance company, and now you are getting calls asking if you will give a recorded statement from not only your insurance company but also the other person’s insurance.
Should I Talk To The Agent?
Yes, and no. Typical attorney answer, right? Let me break it down.
Your Insurance = Yes
You should talk to your insurance company agent who is adjusting the claim. The most important reason you should talk to your insurance company is that your policy of insurance most likely has a “duty to cooperate”, which will also likely require that you give a recorded statement(s) as reasonably required. That means, if you refuse to cooperate or talk to your insurance company about the claim, they could attempt to not cover the claim for failure to cooperate. Another important reason is your insurance will be paying for your medical treatment if it is a North Dakota policy up to the first $30,000. For more on that “no-fault” coverage, review our prior blog on no-fault insurance claims.
So, if it is your insurance company, talk to them. If you have questions or concerns, rather than say “no”, contact an attorney who can look at your policy of insurance to determine the obligations so you do not risk your insurance coverage for the wreck and injury.
Other Person’s Insurance = No (in most cases)
On the other hand, if it is the other person’s insurance company who wants to take a recorded statement, my general advice is you do not give them any sort of statement. Since you do not have a contract with the company, you have no obligation to talk to them. You may wonder “why wouldn’t I talk to them, the other party is clearly at fault?” True, but I can almost guarantee you they don’t see it that way, and they are going to try to spin the story against you. Even if they agree the other party is at fault, I promise they do not agree you are as injured and require as much treatment as you do, and are once again going to try to get you to agree to things that may work against you. That is because they do not have any obligation to you, only to their insured. So, my general advice is if the insurance company for the other party is trying to talk details, don’t talk to them. I also feel it is best to get an attorney involved, who understands the ins and outs of these types of claims/cases and can fight back to protect your claim.
Of course there are limited exceptions, but generally, talk to your insurance agent, but don’t talk with the other person’s insurance agent about what happened and how you are injured. Each case is different, so it is always important to get an attorney to protect your interests, who knows how to make sure the insurance companies are treating the case fairly, and if they are not treating it fairly, to prosecute the claim until you get the relief you should get.
If you have a car crash case that involves injury, do not hesitate to reach out to our Personal Injury Team at SW&L Attorneys. You can contact us via phone at 701-297-2890, or send us an email below.