Should I Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster?
Bill Allen | January 8, 2024 | Personal Injury
After a car accident or another kind of personal injury for which you are filing a personal injury claim, the insurance company responsible for paying your claim will probably ask for a recorded statement. The worst mistake you can make is to agree and proceed to give a recorded statement without first consulting with a personal injury lawyer.
Your lawyer can help you prepare to provide a statement that will not harm your interests. Saying the wrong thing during a recorded statement could sink your claim altogether or greatly reduce its value.
Are You Required by Law or by the Terms of Your Insurance Policy To Give a Recorded Statement?
No, you aren’t. It doesn’t matter whether you are the insured or you are making a third-party claim on the at-fault party’s insurance policy; you are not required to give a recorded statement.
Instead, your best bet is to give a written statement to the insurance company, after working with your lawyer to determine exactly what you should say. You don’t have to write down every detail of the accident. In fact, it is better to provide as little information as you can get away with, because anything you say can pin you down to a statement that you might want to retract later.
An Insurance Company Can Use a Recorded Statement Against You
A recorded statement is evidence that is admissible in court. So is a written statement, for that matter. The difference in a recorded statement is that the insurance company is asking the questions, and you might not be ready for them. You can always revise a written statement before the insurance company sees it. But if you get confused and answer off the cuff during a recorded interview, the insurance adjuster could seize upon it and use it against you later.
Risks of Providing a Recorded Statement
Following are some of the risks you take when you give a recorded statement:
- Misinterpretation: It’s easy to take words out of context. Reporters do it to politicians all the time. Anything you say in a recorded statement can be interpreted in ways that might harm your interests.
- Unpreparedness: You might still be woozy in the aftermath of an accident. You might be on pain medication, in shock, or distracted by the many things that are likely to be on your mind after an accident. Your recollection of events might not be accurate under these circumstances. Don’t pin yourself down to a statement that might not reflect what actually happened.
- Contradiction: You might say one thing during a recorded statement and then say something else during a deposition or at trial. If you contradict yourself, even on something minor, the opposing party will seize upon the inconsistency and use it to destroy your credibility. This could affect the believability of anything else you might say, even if it is indisputably true.
- Trick Questions: You can be sure that the insurance adjuster will ask you some “trick questions” in a recorded statement
There are many other ways that a recorded statement could work against your interests.
The Bottom Line: Talk to Your Lawyer
Insurance companies are full of ruses that they can use to justify denying your claim or minimizing its value. That is why it is important that you get a lawyer involved in your case right from the very beginning. An experienced personal injury lawyer is familiar with every strategy in the insurance company’s bag of tricks–and they won’t fall for any of them.
Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
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