Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?
When victims are injured due to the negligence of others, many factors come into play. Along with sustaining injuries requiring extensive medical attention, they are also facing large medical bills, and are worried about lost wages from missing work. However, despite the pain and suffering victims are enduring daily, insurance companies representing the negligent party feel this is the perfect time to take advantage of a victim’s misfortune. In many instances, they may try to get a recorded statement from the victim, hoping to use this against them in court or keep the case from ever reaching a courtroom. If you are considering giving an insurance company a recorded statement, here are some reasons why personal injury attorneys say it’s not a good idea.
If you receive a call from an insurance company and they are trying to get you to give a recorded statement, there is no doubt they are trying to get you to admit the accident was your fault. Whether you were involved in an automobile accident, slipped on a wet or icy surface, or were injured by an animal, the insurance company realizes if they can get you to admit fault, not only will they and their client no longer be held liable for your injuries, but chances are you will wind up having to pay the entire amount of the accident, which can often exceed several thousand dollars.
Bypassing Your Attorney
If you have an attorney representing you in a personal injury case, it’s a good bet the other party’s insurance company will make every effort to bypass communicating with your attorney, and instead concentrate their efforts on getting you to admit fault through a recorded statement. If you do this, you will no longer have a case against the defendant, since you will have admitted on the record that the accident was your fault. Rather than make such a critical mistake, it’s best to tell an insurance company as soon as possible that you have retained personal injury attorneys to handle your case, and that any future communication between you and the insurance company will be handled by your attorney.
Minimizing Your Injuries
If you agree to give a recorded statement to an insurance company, the adjuster will likely try to coerce you into minimizing your injuries. For example, if you sustained back injuries, the conversation will likely turn to your daily activities. When this happens, the adjuster will start asking you what you are able to do, hoping you will say that you are able to do most of your daily activities will little or no pain. If you say this in a recorded statement, the insurance company will then use that against you in your lawsuit, stating that you are exaggerating your injuries and do not deserve compensation. To keep this from happening, never discuss your injuries or your current health with the defendant’s insurance company. Instead, speak only with your attorney regarding your injuries, which will ensure nothing can be used against you as your case progresses.
Threats and Intimidation
Surprisingly, an insurance company will often attempt to threaten or intimidate personal injury victims during the course of a conversation. By trying to intimidate victims, the company hopes to scare them into dropping their case and deciding they would never win if the case went to trial. In a recorded statement, the company may direct the conversation in this area, hoping if they put enough pressure on a victim they will drop the case.
Listen To Your Attorney
If an insurance company has tried to get you to give a recorded statement, tell your attorney immediately. By having an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer representing you in these matters, the insurance company may in fact be intimidated, allowing you to gain the financial compensation you need and deserve.