Do you ever wonder why you see so many articles and blogs from attorneys warning consumers not to talk to insurance agents and adjusters after a wreck? If you’ve been in a car accident and the other driver was at fault, that’s what their insurance is there for, right?
Right. Except insurance companies don’t make money when they pay out claims. They have a vested interest in devaluing your claim as much as possible. You can bet that they’ll be on the watch for anything they can use to do it.
California is what is known as a pure comparative negligence state. Under those rules, injury victims are not barred from recovering damages even if they’re 99% responsible for their own losses — but the defendant’s financial liability will be reduced according the plaintiff’s fault.
In practical terms, that means if you suffer $100,000 in losses after a car wreck but the court determines that you are 50% at-fault for the accident, you can only claim $50,000 in compensation.
Since the higher your percentage of fault, the lower your available damages, the insurance company naturally hopes to find issues with your claim. They may look for any kind of evidence that you were partially responsible for the crash. That’s generally why they’re so eager to get victims on the phone (and on record) while they’re still shaken up and not thinking clearly.
Having an attorney handle your communications with the insurance company protects your interests in many different ways — not the least of which is that you can’t be recorded saying anything that the insurance company can twist around later. Find out more about how an attorney can help after a wreck.