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Why Accident Victims May Want to Remain Silent

By Daniel E DAngelo Esq on December 31, 2013

shutterstock_11831698 Most know about the constitutional right to remain silent when accused of a crime. Although a claim for bodily injuries and other damages as a result of car accident is a civil tort and not a crime, and the insurance company is not the police department or prosecution, most accident victims are unaware they do not have to give the negligent driver’s insurance company a statement nor do you have to answer their questions about the car accident.

Remember that insurance is a business and the other driver’s insurance company is working to maximize their own economic bottom line by paying you as little as possible. While you may think you are having a harmless and informal conversation about the accident with the other driver’s insurance company, it is anything but informal and the adjuster is either recording everything you say or is taking notes. You may unwittingly provide them with information they are not entitled, you may not understand their questions and thus give an incorrect response, or the information you provide may not be accurate for a number of reasons, such as you just didn’t remember but felt embarrassed so you gave a response anyway. The insurance company may then use this information to improperly minimize or deny your claim.

The insurance company for the negligent driver will likely try to contact you as soon as possible (usually within days of the accident) to gather as much information it can before you are able to speak with an attorney, so to avoid the above mistakes, it is in your best interest to remain silent until you are able to speak with a Colorado personal injury attorney. All too often, accident victims come to us after it is too late and have volunteered information the insurance company had no right to know to process their claim or they gave inaccurate responses to the insurance company about the accident or their injuries. Instead of trying the do-it-yourself approach and hoping for the best, you should remain silent until you can speak with and hire an attorney to represent you.

This isn’t a constitutional or statutory right to remain silent and you can’t remain silent forever, as you do have time limits called statute of limitations to bring your claim that if passed would bar your claim, so you should not wait to contact an attorney to help you resolve your claim.

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