car accidents and recorded statements

Should I Give my Insurance Company a Recorded Statement?

After a car accident, insurance companies often ask those involved to make recorded statements. This may seem like a fairly simple and straightforward request; however, an individual without an attorney’s representation should always answer “no” when asked to give such a statement.

Consequences of Giving a Recorded Statement

It is important to remember that an insurance company’s goal is to minimize the amount of money that they have to pay out. Also, keep in mind that the people taking your statement will likely have a lot of experience dealing with accident victims. They will know how to use your own words against you. The insurance company can use anything you say in a recorded statement against you even though the statement is not made in a court and you are not under oath.

Note that in a few cases, your own insurance company may request a recorded statement. If this happens, it is usually necessary that you provide it. However, it is not in your best interest to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company of the other party in the accident. You are not under any legal obligation since you did not sign a contract with them. If an adjuster tells you that you have to make a statement or that making a statement will help your case, they are not being truthful.

How a Recorded Statement Can Hurt You

Most doctors will tell you that symptoms of injuries often do not show up until several days after an accident. If a claims adjuster contacts you within 24 hours of the accident and asks about your injuries, you may be able to tell them what is wrong at that point. However, your claim for an injury that shows up two days later may be denied because it was not mentioned in your original statement.

If You Decide to Give a Statement

While it is not advisable to provide a recorded statement, whether you do or not is up to you. If you do decide to give a statement, here are a few tips for protecting yourself:

  • Request that the statement not be recorded.
  • Avoid volunteering information.
  • Avoid explaining and if you are asked to explain, be as brief as possible.
  • If you do not know something or are not sure, say so.
  • Do not answer any questions if you are not absolutely sure about what is being asked.
  • Avoid admitting to fault.
  • Do not sign anything unless you have it reviewed by an attorney.

When Dealing With Claims Adjusters

Always be polite when dealing with claims adjusters. You will not help your case by being rude or getting into arguments with them. If you have hired an attorney, the insurance company will have to communicate with the attorney, not with you. If you are contacted by an insurance company, you should simply inform them that you have an attorney and provide them with the attorney’s contact information.

Your attorney will be aware of the tactics used by insurance companies as well as your legal rights. They will be able to offer advice that will help you to avoid any issues that could hurt your claim.

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