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Are you worried about the other driver’s lawyer trying to contact you after an accident? There’s no need to be scared. Instead, you and your car accident lawyer should be prepared for this potential call. There are certain things you should do on the phone, and many of these things are detailed below.
Ask a Car Accident Lawyer: What Should I Do If the Other Driver’s Accident Lawyer Calls Me?
1. Get the Caller’s Information
When you receive a call from the other driver’s attorney, you’ll want to know as much as possible about them. Take their name, firm, and reason for their call. Make sure you pass this information on to your Kansas City car accident lawyer, as they may need to contact this lawyer after you’ve gotten through the phone call.
If the caller refuses to give you any information, then refuse to answer their questions until they do. Tell them you’re not comfortable speaking to somebody if you don’t know who they are and why they’re contacting you.
2. Repeat Information They Know
The attorney is most likely calling you to try and get new information that they can use against you in your case. They want you to be forced to accept a lower or partial settlement. This is why you must offer them no new information during the call.
Tell the lawyer things you know your attorney has already told them. Give them only information that can help build a case in your favor. Don’t give them answers they could interpret incorrectly or use against you.
3. Answer Questions Directly
Don’t try to get around a question, as the lawyer may view this as an admission of guilt. Answer every question as directly as you can. If you don’t know the answer to a question, then don’t try to avoid it. Admitting ignorance is always acceptable, and they can’t use your lack of knowledge against you in most cases.
They can use an “I don’t know” against you in some cases; for example, if they ask you when your car’s last full service was, and you don’t know the exact date. Then they can try to say your car wasn’t well maintained and that contributed to the accident occurring. Think logically about each question they ask and try to give an answer that’s direct but keeps you out of trouble. In a case like the above, the best answer might be, “I’ll check my records so I can give you the exact date and then have my attorney contact you with the information.”
4. Refer Them to Your Attorney
If the person on the other line asks you a question that you know your attorney has already answered, then don’t be afraid to tell them that your attorney has already provided them with this information. You can also tell them that you’re having trouble answering a specific question and let them know they’re free to contact your attorney for anything they need to know, as your attorney has all the details of the case in full.
You could even offer to speak to them on another call, another time, with your attorney present, as it’s only fair you have legal representation with you when discussing your case. You should also call your attorney after the call and tell them everything you remember about the questions you were asked and the answers you gave. They need to know this for future reference during your case.
5. Remain Calm and Polite
It’s tempting to panic when you receive an unwanted call, but it’s essential that you keep a clear head and a good mindset. You need your wits and the ability to think logically during this phone call, so take some deep breaths, take a minute to compose yourself if you need to, and be perfectly nice to whoever you’re speaking to.
Becoming passive-aggressive or defensive is also tempting, but the other driver’s lawyer might use this attitude against you. Be polite, and act like you’re speaking to your boss. You need to come across as likable but not overly friendly, and always keep your language formal but clear. A decent person will find it harder to try and harm somebody who’s being nice to them, so do everything you can to get into the caller’s good books without going overboard.
6. Don’t Volunteer Opinions
If you have any opinions related to any aspect of your case, keep them to yourself. Don’t let the caller know your true emotional state, don’t let them know your true opinions on anything, and don’t even allude to how you feel about a particular matter. Give facts and only facts. Essentially, mask yourself for the call. Masking your true emotions and opinions prevents the opposing attorney from using your tone and feelings against you.
You need to conduct yourself very carefully if you receive a phone call from the other driver’s lawyer. It’s going to be tough to remain calm, but knowing how to conduct yourself during the call will help you through it.