Depending on what your car accident was like, you might be surprised by how quickly things can move. Rather than waiting weeks or months to find out if you’ll get compensation, you may actually get contacted by the liable party’s insurance company days after your crash. That’s a good thing, right?
Actually, it might not be. What you say to an insurance adjuster can hurt your claim and leave you without the compensation you deserve. Learn more about how to protect your legal rights after an auto accident by calling Weaver Tidmore at 205-980-6065.
Why Adjusters Want Your Statement
Insurance adjusters want a statement because they want to know what happened, and the best way to do that is to get information from both sides and any witnesses. On its own, that’s pretty innocent and makes a strong case for giving a statement. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with getting the truth.
Even if your statement shows that the other party was liable and should be held liable for the damage they caused, the insurance company might still find a way to use the recorded statement against you. Every single thing you say can be picked apart and used to show that you might be partially liable for the crash, lying about the extent of your injuries, or trying to defraud the company.
Consider the generic greeting, “Hi! How are you today?” You answer “I’m fine, thank you,” because that’s the polite response. This could get twisted into, “The victim stated they were fine, so their ‘serious injuries’ are a little suspicious.” This is an extreme example, but you get the point.
What the Law Says About This
The law does not say anything about providing recorded statements to insurance companies. That is, you are under no legal obligation to provide a statement, no matter how disgruntled or pushy the insurance company representative may get.
Why Attorneys Do Not Recommend Giving Recorded Statements
To add on to that, attorneys almost never recommend giving a recorded statement without consulting them first. Consider it similar to talking to the police about an alleged crime without a lawyer present.
No matter how innocent you are, the words you say on the record can only hurt you. They will never be used to help you. Knowing that, there is no good reason to give a recorded statement without the assistance of your attorney.
Instead, you should talk to your attorney about what your obligations are and what steps are best for your case. Generally, your lawyer will take over communication with the other party’s insurance company. This prevents you from saying anything that could damage your claim. If you do end up giving a statement to the insurer, do so only under the advice and guidance of your lawyer.
When Your Own Insurance Company Requests a Statement
The situation is a bit different when it comes to your own insurance company. They are supposed to be on your side and should represent your best interests. On top of that, the policy paperwork you agreed to when you signed up with them likely has a clause requiring you to cooperate with them when you have a claim. Because of this, refusing to provide a statement can lead to cancellation of your policy and refusal to pay out open claims.
It is unlikely, though, that your own insurance company will want a recorded statement. Whether you give them one or not, you should still speak to your lawyer first. They can help you know what details to include, how to phrase things accurately, and how to avoid hurting your claim.
Find Out How Weaver Tidmore Can Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
When a car accident turns your life upside down, there is a never ending list of things to do. From contacting your insurance company to hiring an attorney and getting your car repaired, being an accident victim can almost become a part-time job. With the right legal team on your side, you can spend less time worrying about your collision and more time healing and getting back to normal.