It is very common for an insurance company to ask for a recorded statement from someone who files a claim against one of their policyholders. But, you are not legally obligated to agree to a recorded statement. While you are acting in good faith to provide all the details to settle your claim, the insurance company is fishing for something that gives them a reason to deny your case.
What Giving a Recorded Statement Could Mean
First, understand that getting a call from the other driver’s insurance adjuster is not gesture towards helping you. In fact, you could actually say something that works against you if your accident claim goes to court.
Even though at the time the statement is recorded you are not in court, it can be used as evidence to prove the other side’s position. In a personal injury litigation, there is never a normal conversation. Whatever you share with the driver’s insurance company becomes part of your personal injury case.
Your honest statement could be filled with ammunition for the insurance adjuster. This person is a pro at achieving two goal: finding out your side of the story and trying to twist your words in their favor.
When the Insurance Adjuster Says You Must Give a Statement
Do not be surprised if when you resist giving a statement, the insurance adjuster says that you must do what they say. However, no state carries a law in a personal injury case that requires you to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Generally, you have a duty to cooperate with your insurance carrier.
Is There a Difference Between a Recorded and Non-recorded Statement?
As previously stated, a call from the insurance adjuster who requests a recorded statement is not an effort to make you a fair offer. The main purpose is to make sure you say something, like make concessions that their driver is potentially at-fault, so your personal injury claim can be denied.
If they cannot deny the claim, at the very least they want to minimize how much the insurance company has to pay. Therefore, be very careful about what you say.
If you wonder whether giving a recorded statement is different from not being recorded, the short answer is yes. Essentially, a recorded statement detailing the facts of the car accident case as you know it becomes a matter of record. However, the insurance company cannot make your statement a matter of record without getting your permission to record the interview.
The insurance adjuster has experience with asking manipulative questions so no matter what you say, they could use something in the recording against you. Providing helpful information regarding facts of the case is different from committing to giving them a standing record.
So, keep in mind that you have a right to refuse to make your statement an official, recorded account of what happened when you have filed a claim against thee other driver’s insurance company.
If you are being pressured to give a recorded statement, you should contact your own personal injury attorney. Someone who specializes in accidents can make sure important details reach the insurance company.
Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney before Speaking with the Adjuster
While you might be tempted to do everything the insurance company asks, hoping it will speed the process of your claim, you just might rush towards an unfair settlement. When you have been injured in a car accident thanks to someone else’s negligence, it becomes very tempting to get what you can, as soon as you can. After all, you have mounting medical bills, missed days from work and the mental stress that this scary event caused.
However, beyond specific details that may also be in a police report, you may not want to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company alone. They know enough about the law to get the answers they need to save their employer money. The adjuster is always eager to settle quickly, but never fairly.
Trying to receive a fair compensation for injuries you sustained in a car accident can be filled with complications and pitfalls. Rather than record statements for an insurance adjuster, your interests are served better when you speak with an attorney who specializes in car accident cases.
Recording your account without the guidance of an attorney may lead to losing the compensation you are entitled to receive. Contact an attorney who cares about what you are going through and knows what the insurance adjuster is try to do.