Can My Car Insurance Company Request My Phone Records?
After a motor vehicle accident, your car insurance company will likely request information from you, and this may include your cell phone records. You are not required to give this to your insurer unless a court orders you to do so but refusing may affect your claim.
Before deciding, it is wise to obtain legal advice. A Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer from our firm will review your case and let you know your options.
Car accidents and phone records
Insurance companies want drivers’ cell phone records so they can determine whether the person was on the phone at the time of the crash. Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents.
The insurer wants to prove the driver is at fault for the accident because they were distracted.
If you were not on the phone, you might decide to allow the insurance company access to your records. However, keep in mind that the insurer is always looking for a reason to deny a claim. In addition, your privacy rights are also a concern.
If you were not using your phone when the accident happened, you might ask the insurance company for a revision of its request. This would allow them to receive the cell phone records only from the date of the accident and the time when the crash occurred.
The insurance adjuster
An insurance adjuster may tell a driver the cell phone records are necessary for claim processing. That is generally not true.
In some instances, the insurance policy you signed when purchasing coverage might include the requirement to turn over phone records after a claim. That is why it is critical to always read the fine print.
If the adjuster insists that these records are required, let them know that your lawyer has advised you not to do so– if that is accurate.
Phone records and claim denial
However, providing the cell phone records, if you know the phone was not in use at the time of the accident– might speed up the processing of your claim. Not providing the requested records could result in a denial of the claim, but then there are actions you can take against the insurance company.
You may have grounds to sue the insurance company if you believe it is acting in bad faith and does not want to pay your claim. An attorney can provide advice on whether this is an option.
If the insurer denies your claim without good cause, reporting the company to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department is another alternative. This agency will determine whether the insurance company acted in good faith or will require evidence as to why your claim was denied.
When cell phone records are required
However, when either driver files a personal injury lawsuit against the other, the court may order cell phone records released.
A lawyer goes before a judge and asks that cell phone records for a specific date and timeframe are provided. If the judge agrees, a warrant is issued, and releasing the phone records becomes mandatory.
Your attorney may prove able to quash a subpoena for the release of your cell phone records. The quashing of a subpoena means it becomes invalid, and your cell phone carrier is not required to respond.
Contact us at Chaffin Luhana
If you were involved in a car accident and having issues with your insurer, you need the services of an experienced Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorney. Arrange a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or completing our online form.
Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion for clients in settlements and verdicts. As we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless we win compensation for you.