As a bicycle rider, sharing the road with cars can be inherently dangerous. Even a small car can do a lot of damage to your person and property if it’s going fast enough. Likewise, giving up too much information to an insurer can do a lot of damage to your legal case. You should always remember that an insurer is only talking to you in order to find a way to pay as little as they possibly can.
What to Ask an Insurer
A few things you can freely ask another driver's insurer include:
- What kind of coverage the driver was carrying?
- When will claims be paid out?
- How soon can they authorize repairs or medical procedures?
Generally, you can ask about property damage limits after an accident. If the only piece of property damaged is your bike, the total damage against you will likely be under the driver's insurance limit.
For the most part you want to stay away from talking about specific medical procedures, unless they require authorization before paying your doctor or hospital. Even then, only give them information you receive from your healthcare provider.
Things You Should Avoid Saying to an Insurance Company
Most insurance companies will do everything they legally can in order to avoid paying out a claim. Remember: this is how insurance companies make money. With that in mind, these are a few of the things you should not be discussing with someone else's insurance company after a bike crash:
- What you were doing immediately before the crash;
- How the accident played out; and
- The issue of fault.
Insurance companies will usually make their own determination about fault in an accident. They will usually base their decision heavily on the police report, but they will also want to hear from the driver of the vehicle. Any information you give them about the accident, including if you were possibly distracted, or if you had been drinking at all, will only be used against you.
Mentioning to an insurance representative that you weren't looking straight when the crash occurred may give them enough reason to deny paying out anything. If there are substantial injuries involved, you will almost always need to hire a lawyer to get them to justify their decision in court. Talking to an insurance agent or someone else on the record is also a bad idea, because they can use what you say against you in order to deny your claim or defend themselves in court.
Never admit to an accident being your fault, either to the other driver, to the police on the scene, or to an insurance company. If they push you on it, you can tell them to refer to the police report, or let them know that the only way you will discuss the accident with them is in a courtroom. Better yet, tell them to speak to your Bike Law lawyer. Contact us today at 404-522-7553 to learn more.