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Should You Call a Lawyer or the Insurance Company First?

Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on May 19, 2023


A person with bandaged hands making a phone call. After a car accident, most people may not know the next step they need to take. Some people choose to call the insurance company to file a claim right away. Others may sit and think about calling a lawyer. The question is: who should you call first?

Our auto collision lawyers in South Bend discuss why you should call an attorney before you file an insurance claim.

When you call us, you can consult with an experienced attorney for free. If you choose to work with our firm, we do not charge you any hourly fees. You only pay us when we recover compensation for you.

Drawbacks of Calling the Insurance Company First

Sometimes accident victims choose to file an insurance claim right away. This means they call the insurance company before they call a lawyer. In some instances, accident victims never call a lawyer or wait until their claim has been denied before calling one.

Most people do this because they think it is the right order of things. They might also think that calling a lawyer right away comes across as greedy. However, there are drawbacks to calling the insurance company before contacting a lawyer.

First, it is important to note that the insurance adjuster who gets assigned to your case is not on your side. He or she is hired for the purpose of paying out as few insurance claims as possible to save the insurance company money.

One of the biggest drawbacks to calling the insurance company first is that they will ask you a lot of questions about the accident and your injuries on a recorded line. If you say the wrong thing, that recording could be used against you to deny your claim.

Speaking to the insurance company before an attorney also gives the insurance company the opportunity to offer you a settlement that you think sounds fair. Without knowing the extent of your damages, you may be inclined to accept the offer. If you do, especially on a recorded line, it could be a lot harder to recover compensation for the damages you did not anticipate. For example, future damages for ongoing medical care of a prolonged injury.

The insurance adjuster may ask you about your injuries. They do this to make sure that if you are looking for a doctor to treat you, they can make an appointment for you with a physician who is most likely contracted by the insurance company. Although it might be helpful to have someone else handle scheduling an appointment, you should be wary of who you are seeing for your car accident injuries.

What if the Insurance Company Contacts You Before You Contact a Lawyer?

Even if you do not call the insurance company, there is a chance they may call you. This is likely because the driver who caused the collision filed a claim, and the insurance company is obligated to call you.

If you do get a call from the insurance company before you have spoken to a lawyer, it may be in your best interest to tell them that you would prefer to speak to an attorney first.

If you feel comfortable speaking to the insurance adjuster, you should keep the following in mind:

  • You are on a recorded line
  • Do not talk about your injuries
  • Do not provide unnecessary details about the collision
  • Do not admit or imply fault
  • Stick to the facts (do not make assumptions)
  • Do not accept a settlement offer

As soon as you get off the phone with the insurance company, you should contact an attorney who can help you through the legal process.

Why You Should Call a Lawyer Before Calling the Insurance Company

After an accident, the first number you should dial is 9-1-1. After that, you should call a lawyer.

Once you get into contact with an attorney, he or she can help you file an insurance claim. Having an attorney from the very beginning of your case could be beneficial, as you will have someone on your side guiding you through the legal minefield of what to say and what not to say about your injuries.

Thanks to attorney-client privilege, you can be upfront and honest about the case without hurting your chances of recovering compensation. Your lawyer can advise you on how to proceed with your case because he or she knows all the facts.

Another benefit of calling an attorney first is that you will have someone committed to your best interests. Our firm does not get paid unless we recover compensation for you. That means our interests are directly aligned with yours. Whereas the insurance company is committed to its bottom line.

Call Us Today For Assistance

If you are unsure about what steps to take after a car crash, call our knowledgeable attorneys today.

We have helped injured victims recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages for decades. We can discuss how we can help you during this difficult time.

Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation today.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases

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