You are under no personal or legal obligation to provide bicycle accidental details to an insurance company if they contact you. Insurance companies always desire to settle the accident claims through out of court negotiations. It is their objective to agree on the lowest form of compensation so as to protect their personal and financial interests. Hence, what you give them informs the basis of negotiating a lower settlement. The information can also be used by the insurance companies to evade compensating the bicycle accident victim.
In case of serious injuries or death of the victim, you may want discuss the accident details with the insurance company. However, this has to be done only after obtaining independent legal advice from your attorney. Due to their shrewd nature, be sure to be wary of the following warning signs when giving insurance companies any information regarding the bicycle accident:
Monitoring of calls: When insurance companies call the accident victims, they may indicate that the telephone call is being monitored for purposes of quality control and training. They use this to violate victim’s privacy rights and later adduce that the victim gave implied consent to the recording. The recording gives them evidence to use in defending themselves before a civil court in case you incriminate yourself. For instance, they can evade making compensation payments if you show that the accident was entirely your fault.
Detailed description of the accident: During the telephone call, an insurance company can request you to give them in-depth details of the bicycle accident. Equally, they may request the description to be reduced to a tape recorded statement. They do this to ensure the success of their objective of evading payment. The statement does not protect your interests. In any case, it can only cause you future challenges in getting compensation from the insurance company.
Lack of a police report: The insurance company may indicate that the police have failed to make a formal report in respect to the accident. In such cases, the insurance company can collude with its insured to avoid making payments. Lack of a police report reduces the weight of your claim significantly. If told this, be vigilant and contact your attorney immediately to obtain legal advice on the way forward.
Disclosure of social security number: The insurance company may trick you into giving them your social security number. Being a beneficiary of Medicare may be a non-issue to their quest of obtaining such number. The number can be used to steal your identity as the insurance company offers no guarantee for its safekeeping. If this happens, contact your attorney instantly.
Investigation of claims: An insurance company can claim to be investigating the bicycle accident claim. It is actually not an investigation. Rather, the insurance company is seeking more time to get the information they need so as to avoid compensating you.
Provision of a rental car: Most rental car companies work closely with the insurance companies to ensure that compensation payments are not made. You may also not have an insurance cover whilst using the rental car. Instead of accepting a rental car, be patient and insist on obtaining compensation.
Refusal to pay medical bills: An insurance company can refuse to make advance payments to cater for your medical bills. Also, it can refuse to instantaneously accept your medical treatment. The company may also seek to contact your healthcare professional to pay them directly for their services. Such acts only show that the insurance company is colluding with the doctor either to give you sub-standardized treatment or deny the existence of any personal injury.
In conclusion, it is upon you to either give details regarding your bicycle accident to the insurance company or not. However, do not be tricked that you have an obligation to do so. If, after consulting your attorney you decide to disclose the details, be on the lookout for the above-mentioned warning signs. Be shrewd, just as the insurance companies are, in order to protect your beneficial interests. Failure to do so, the insurance company may evade payment and let you suffer more damages. Be sure to always contact your counsel each time you are involved in a bicycle accident.