The period following a truck accident can be confusing, painful and frustrating. You probably need to take a forced break from work and focus on your recovery. On top of that, you are probably trying to understand the extent of your injuries and are unsure about filing a claim. Majority of victims cannot wait to move on from the experience.
You probably want to take all the steps necessary for expediting the claims process and helping the insurance company in any way you can. However, should you provide a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster? The short answer is no. Keep reading to learn more.
Recorded Statements can be Used Against You
There is no denying the fact that insurance carriers are in the business of making money. They will possibly misconstrue and use your statement against you if they can. You may say something during the recorded interview without realizing or meaning to. In fact, insurance adjusters are trained to get statements out of victims that can be used to invalidate or deny their claim.
As per the law, any recorded statement that a victim makes to the insurance company regarding an accident can be used as evidence in court. Majority of insurance carriers are in the hopes that you would say something which can be twisted to create an appearance of shared or complete fault. These recorded statements may also be used for showing that the claimed injuries are not as serious. This can have a major impact on the settlement amount.
Many times, insurance companies use recorded statements as a way to justify denying a claim. This can place you at a major disadvantage during negotiations. This is true even when the arguments for proving the liability of the other party are firmly on your side.
Reasons to Not Give a Recorded Statement Following a Trucking Accident
Recorded statement session refers to an interview where the insurance adjuster asks questions and you answer in a back-and-forth manner. The insurance adjuster will record your answers and later transcribe it to create a written version of the session. The fact is that you are not under any legal obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster for having them settle your claim.
You don’t have a duty or obligation to agree to the order for receiving compensation either. You may believe that giving a recorded statement is a good idea, especially when the truck driver is clearly at fault. However, there have been several instances where victims of truly tragic wrecks have had their claims weakened by providing recorded statements.
These are a few reasons you should deny the request for a recorded statement after your truck accident:
- Inconsistent answers can weaken your case
After being involved in a truck crash, you would be rehashing the event with a lot of people, including your friends, family, doctor, police and witnesses. When you give a recorded statement, you will be giving the insurance adjuster a way of comparing your answers with the version of the story you told others. This will make it easier for them to identify inconsistencies. In case there are any inconsistencies, the adjuster will use the information for reducing or denying the claim. Additionally, inconsistent statements make plaintiffs look less credible as a witness. It also damages the claim.
- You may get confused about the facts
Insurance adjusters are usually working on behalf of the trucking company. They are trained and have years of experience in taking recorded statements. They know the type of questions to ask. This can be done in a manner that confuses you to elicit answers that may weaken your claim. You may end up inadvertently answering a question in a way that hurts your claim even when you don’t want to.
- It can be used as evidence against your claim
The statements you make can be used against you in court if you decide to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. The problem is that the insurance company may only make portions of the recorded statement available. They may misconstrue your words to have your case dismissed. They may try to reduce your credibility by harping on the inconsistencies in the statement to show that you are not a believable witness.
How to Handle a Request for a Recorded Statement
You should politely inform the insurance adjuster when they get in touch with you to request for a recorded statement that you plan on retaining a lawyer before making any decisions. You haven’t ruined your case beyond repair even if you have already given a recorded statement. Your next step should be to immediately consult with an experienced truck accident attorney in Virginia. The attorney will handle all your negotiations and communications with the insurance company.
Speak With a Skilled and Resourceful Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
The truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have the experience, resources and knowledge to help you obtain fair compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling at (833) 997-1774 or complete our online contact form.