Giving a Recorded Statement in an Auto Accident Case
After an auto accident, when many victims first contact or are contacted by the insurance company, their claims adjuster immediately demands a recorded statement of what happened and what injuries they are suffering from. If you are a victim of an auto accident, your claim adjusters will tell you that they need your statement before they can consider the property damage claims, your personal injuries and even open a file. You should avoid giving statements to any insurance company but your own until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney at Miller and Falkner. Consulting with an attorney prior to giving a recorded statement is beneficial to your case in a number of ways. It is first important to understand why insurance companies are so eager to get your recorded statement, especially prior to your hiring an attorney.
Many large insurance companies, in an effort to reduce losses and increase profits, deny and/or delay even the most straightforward of claims. Insurance claims adjusters wants to get your statement "On the record" so that they can find as much information as possible that might hurt your claim. This is why insurance companies prefer a recorded statement rather than an informal discussion where the same information could be collected.
When giving a recorded statement, the questions can be vague and misleading which can cause you to unintentionally say something about your injuries or the accident itself that can be damaging to your claim. You will be asked about your injuries. It can take many days for victims of an auto accident to realize the extent of their accident injuries. Furthermore, many clients are not medical professionals and are unsure what injuries they do have at the time they give their recorded statement. Comments such as "I don't know if anything is wrong" or "I think I just have a little whiplash" have been used by adjusters to minimize the value of claims for victims who were actually more significantly injured but were either unaware of the extent of their injuries or simply didn't like to be seen as complaining. Until a doctor has determined what the extent of your injuries are and the approximate time for recovery, it is important to not speculate about either.
The insurance adjuster might also ask about any previous accidents you have had. They will have probably already researched any past claims. Failure to mention a forgotten fender bender from a few years back when giving a statement "under penalty of perjury," will give the insurance company the ammunition to later suggest that you were not truthful and thus try to damage your credibility as a plaintiff.
The insurance company wants your recorded statement in order to help minimize or defeat your auto accident claim. The insurance company tries to get this statement as soon as possible after the accident in an effort to talk with you before you have had the opportunity to get representation. You must be prepared before you give a recorded statement and should discuss your claim with a personal injury attorney at Miller and Falkner before agreeing to give a recorded statement. An attorney can prepare you for the many "tricks of the trade" insurance adjusters will employ to try and diminish your claim.
Contact the office of Miller and Falkner to set up your free initial consultation today and let our personal injury attorneys start to work for you.