If you have been injured in an accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company may reach out to you for a recorded statement. In most cases, you should not provide a recorded statement without first consulting a personal injury attorney.
The Dangers of Providing a Recorded Statement
Making a statement closely following an accident and injury can be detrimental to your case for compensation. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses focused on maximizing profits and reducing their liability. An insurance adjuster will actively look for ways to shift blame onto you, minimize your payout, or deny your claim. One highly effective way they do this is by taking a recorded statement from injury victims. They may ask misleading questions or state them in a way to trip you up in your answers. You may unintentionally harm your claim if they can find any inconsistencies between your recorded statement and what you told police, their policyholder, or witnesses at the scene. If you speak to a personal injury lawyer first, they will help you prepare a written statement, so your rights remain protected and you can avoid the adjuster’s schemes.
Am I Legally Required to Give a Recorded Statement?
Generally, there is no legal obligation to give a recorded statement to an insurance company. In fact, you do not even have to speak to the at-fault party’s insurer. However, you must cooperate with your own insurance company if necessary. You can politely decline when an insurance company calls and asks for a recorded statement. Let them know your attorney will contact them or that you prefer to give a written statement at a later date. It is okay to provide your name, address, and telephone number.
What if I Want to Give a Recorded Statement?
If you feel the need to give a recorded statement, follow these tips to protect yourself:
- Request that your statement is not recorded.
- Specifically answer the questions they ask and avoid volunteering information.
- Never admit fault.
- Avoid explaining. If you are asked to explain, be as brief as possible.
- If you do not know something or are unsure, do not guess. Simply tell them you do not know.
- Never answer a question that you are not absolutely sure about what is being asked.
- Do not sign any documents until an attorney reviews them.
The insurance company may ask you to sign a release of liability form to resolve your claim. Once you sign this document, you give up your right to pursue further compensation.
What If I’ve Already Given a Recorded Statement?
If you have already given a recorded statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company, an experienced personal injury lawyer can still help you. They can evaluate your case and advise you on your legal options. However, the longer you wait to hire representation, the more challenging it will be to recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another party, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the interests of accident victims and is prepared to handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. Call our expert car accident attorneys at (833) 997-1774 or reach us online today.