You were driving home on 85 from Charlotte like any other day. But that day, someone tried to share your lane. Before you know it, you’re hurting, and your car is a mess on the side of the highway.

Crashes with other drivers account for over three-quarters of motor vehicle injuries. One of the biggest steps to take when dealing with an accident-related injury is to speak with your insurance company, but the other driver’s insurance company may want a word with you as well.

Perilous actions

Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company may not be in your best interest since their ideal outcome is not to pay you anything, but there are some cases where it could work in your favor. If the other driver is providing an account that doesn’t add up, or the company doesn’t know the range of warranted benefits, they may need clarifying information from you. If you do engage, make sure you’re always careful about what you say:

  • Admitting fault: Even a small share of the blame can result in slashed benefits. Stay mum on the details, and don’t try to play nice by taking heat off the other party in the accident.
  • Just the facts: Dates and times are straight-forward, but sometimes off-hand comments can cause trouble. Making conversation about the weather that day, or that your car has seen a few fender benders or downplaying the severity of the accident out of niceties could shrink your payout to a degree that might surprise you.
  • No speculation: Only provide concrete information. Grasping at facts and making assumptions can result in the insurance company not believing your side of the story. Sowing the seeds of doubt when a few pieces of information don’t add up can set you back.
  • Play telephone: If the insurance company wants you to go into a lot more detail, you may have the option to let someone else handle it. If you have engaged the services of a lawyer, or have a representative from your provider handling your claim, you could ask them to take care of communications.

Make sure you remember that insurance providers are not on your side. This is true for your provider, and even more so for the other party’s company. Their aim is as little pay as possible, so the best play is usually to provide them with as little information as possible. Let your company and your lawyer handle the rest.