After you've been in an accident that wasn't your fault, you may receive a call from the insurance company of the person who hit you. The insurance company might ask you to give a recorded statement about the accident. Even though you may want to seem cooperative, you shouldn't answer any of the insurance company's questions. But what is a recorded statement, and what is so wrong with answering the insurance company's questions?
A recorded statement is essentially a question and answer session between you and the insurance company. The person on the other end of the phone will ask you questions about your claim. He or she will then record your answers. Your answers to those questions then become part of the official record of the incident. Though those questions might sound innocent, they are not, and here's why.
First, the insurance company is going to ask a lot of questions. And, sometimes those questions might be worded in a way that trap or trick you into responses that hurt your case. You might even feel like you are agreeing to facts that aren't completely accurate. The answers to these questions become part of the official record of the incident, and the insurance company can use them against you.
Second, in the weeks and months following your accident, you have probably spoken to many people about it and given many statements. You may have spoken to police officers or even take part in a deposition in the lawsuit following the accident. The insurance company is going to have access to those statements. They will compare the recorded statement you made to those other statements in an attempt to find inconsistencies. Because you've made so many statements, some even weeks of months after the accident, it would be strange if there weren't some inconsistencies among them. But, no matter how trivial these inconsistencies are, the insurance company will point them out and may claim you lied. They might even use this as an excuse to deny your claim.
Finally, opposing counsel will have the opportunity to cross-examine you at trial or during your deposition. You may not remember exactly what you said in your recorded statement, but the insurance company's lawyer might try and make you contradict yourself. You may think these contradictions are inconsequential, but the insurance company's lawyer can point them out to the jury in an effort to make your testimony seem unreliable.
For these reasons, it is best to avoid giving a recorded statement to the other person's insurance company without the advice of an attorney. Be firm, but polite, when denying the insurance adjuster's request and always remember: they represent the insurance company's interests, not yours.
If you've been in an accident that wasn't your fault, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen can help evaluate your claims. For a free consultation and to talk about your case, call us at 866-388-1307.
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