If you were injured in a truck, auto, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident, don't be surprised to receive a call from the negligent driver’s insurance company within days of the collision.
One of the first requests an insurer's adjuster might ask is for you to give a recorded statement. A recorded statement is a question and answer session between you and an adjuster. They're often conducted over the telephone and recorded.
The conversation is later transcribed into a written document that may be used in settlement negotiations and at court hearings—including a jury trial.
Three Reasons Not to Agree to Give a Recorded Statement
If you know you did nothing wrong to cause your motor vehicle accident, it's easy to think that giving a recorded statement is a good way to convince the insurer to settle your claim fairly and quickly. Unfortunately, you could unintentionally seriously hurt your claim by giving one.
Here's an important point: you don't have to give a recorded statement in order to receive injury compensation. While one of the reasons the insurance adjuster may want your recorded statement is to investigate your claim, they might also try to use it to deny your claim or get you to accept less in your settlement.
Here’s how agreeing to one could damage your case:
- Inconsistent statements. The adjuster compares your statements with what you might have said to other sources, such as the police, doctors, or in a deposition, for inconsistency and uses these statements to say you're not credible.
- Tricky questions. Adjusters are skilled in taking recorded statements. They might ask confusing questions worded in a way that can make you say something that hurts your case without even realizing it.
- Questions about your injuries. Answering questions about your medical condition soon after your motor vehicle crash might not accurately describe them and even make them sound less serious than they are. It could take weeks or longer for the symptoms to fully develop after some injuries. In addition, you really won't know the severity of your injuries are, what treatments are necessary, and prognosis for recovery until months after your collision.
Even if you're careful, you could make damaging statements the carrier will use against you in settlement negotiations and in litigating your case.
How to Handle the Insurance Company’s Request for a Recorded Statement
Politely say no to the adjuster’s request for a recorded statement and advise them that you'll have your lawyer contact them. If you haven't hired a skilled motor vehicle accident attorney yet, do so right away and leave all communications with them.
Were You Injured in a Kansas City Area Motor Vehicle Accident?