Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company?
After a car accident occurs, the insurance companies of drivers involved in the car wreck will contact each other and even the driver they do not represent in order to collect information about the accident. Often, this will consist of the insurance company asking you to give a recorded statement. However, there are several reasons why you should not give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
An insurance adjuster will often task themselves with collecting information that can limit the blame reflected on the driver they insure. Adjusters will do this by collecting information to show evidence the driver they are insuring is not the one at fault. And if the driver is at fault, insurance companies may try and minimize the damage to reduce the amount they may need to payout.
As part of this process, an insurance company may call and ask the party they do not represent to give a recorded statement about what happened during the car accident. Whether or not you are the at-fault driver of an auto collision, it’s important not to give this recorded statement.
Recorded Statements Benefit Insurance Companies
After an auto collision occurs, the insurance company of the other driver may contact you immediately after the accident to collect information about what happened.
As part of their contact, they will likely bring up questions regarding the auto collision, what happened, and who was at fault. They may try to make you feel that you are required to provide an answer to these detailed questions; however, it’s important to know that you are not legally obligated to give a statement to the insurance company.
If you do give a recorded statement, your statement can (and likely will) be used against you moving forward in the claims processing, or even in a circumstance where legal action ensues.
Recorded Statements Can Be Used Against You
If you provide the insurance company with a recorded statement, it could be used against you. An insurance company’s goal is to make sure they are paying as little as possible in damages for impacted drivers. Any recorded statement you give can be used to weaken your claims or disprove your claims altogether.
Avoid Discussing Injuries Sustained
The insurance company contacting you will likely ask you about any injuries you sustained during the crash as part of their collection of information. Discussing your injuries can help your claim if they are major injuries, but it can also hurt your claim as the extent of your injuries may not fully be apparent yet.
For example, it may take days after the accident before you realize that you have sustained an injury like a muscle strain or undetected head or neck injury. It is best to hold off until you have been evaluated by your medical provider to understand the extent of your injuries related to the auto collision.
Conflicts with Other Statements
Insurance companies may contact you several times after the car accident to get additional information about the car accident. The insurance adjuster may ask you to repeat the events of an incident or may ask you to provide greater detail. While it may appear innocent, an insurance adjuster may be looking for you to give conflicting statements. Conflicting statements may be used against your claim.
What Information Should You Provide an Insurance Adjuster
When talking to an insurance adjuster, you will be required to answer basic questions in order to move forward with the claims process. You will be asked for this information from your insurance provider, while the insurance provider of the other driver may ask you to confirm the basic information. Keep communication at a minimum and offer only basic information including the following:
- Your name and your contact information
- The make and model of your vehicle
- The time, date, and location where the accident took place
Keep all information about the accident itself limited and direct the insurance adjuster to speak with an agent from your insurance company instead if they are seeking additional information. If you are asked to provide a recorded statement about what occurred, you can decline to do so as you are not legally obligated.
Consult With an Experienced Legal Advisor
If you have been involved in an auto collision, especially one where injuries were sustained, having adequate legal representation can help you navigate what is often a difficult and complicated process. At the Halpern Law Firm, our experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyers can help you get the representation you deserve. Reach out today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your case.