If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may have a stressful situation to deal with afterward. For example, you most likely have questions about dealing with insurance companies while simultaneously worrying about car rentals, fixing your vehicle, asking for time off work, and coping with injuries.
If the at-fault party’s insurance company calls to ask you for a recorded statement, this may appear as a reasonable request. The insurance agent or adjuster may seem as if they are trying to get the facts about the accident. Beware, however, that their goal is more often than not to minimize their responsibility for your injuries and pay you less. Thus, giving a recorded statement to insurance adjusters can be a slippery slope.
Insurance adjusters are trained to present themselves in a friendly, casual manner to throw you off. You may think that cooperating with them and giving a statement will help your claim move along faster. With all these factors to consider, many clients wonder if they should be giving a recorded statement to insurance adjusters.
As experienced Denver personal injury lawyers, we advise against giving a recorded statement to insurance adjusters. There are so many ways they could use your statement against you if your case ends up going to court.
Am I Required to Give a Statement to Insurance Adjusters?
You are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to insurance adjusters. Any insurance representative who tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth. Insurance adjusters will use your accounts against you to devalue or deny your claim.
Insurers could turn any comment you make into an admission of fault, an attestation that your injuries are not severe, or an indication that you haven’t suffered financial losses. Any of the above can affect the amount of your compensation.
Be mindful of some of the ways adjusters might use recorded statements to gather evidence against you:
- They will sound friendly. Since insurance adjusters are trained to speak with customers in a kind, conversational tone, they might joke with you and even offer their condolences for the accident. It’s most likely a tactic to get you to trust them and open up and say something that they can use against you.
- They will ask for personal information. Insurance representatives might ask you for some numbers like your phone, address, and license plate. However, be wary if they ask for your social security number. They certainly do not need your social security number and will likely use it to search your financial history and other personal data.
- They might ask you to sign documents. While the insurer needs some medical proof of your injuries from the accident, do not get tricked into signing a medal records release. You should restrict their request for records strictly to the date of your accident onwards. If an insurer says, “just sign here!” proceed with caution. Rather than thoughtlessly signing a document, pay attention to the details before releasing any personal medal records. If you release access to your complete medical history, they may dig and find grounds to deny coverage for your injuries.
- Insurers will try to convince you that recorded statements are a formality or part of their company policy. This gives you the impression that it’s required to provide a recorded statement. But make no mistake, they are trying to convince you that you are obligated to give a statement because they want you to comply.
- They may intentionally call you while you are vulnerable or in a disadvantaged state. You may be in pain or even on medication that can impair your judgment after the accident. This is a strategy to evoke misleading answers or an emotionally charged statement.
Giving a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster: What Could Go Wrong?
1. Your recorded statement can and will most likely be used against you. A recorded statement is rarely a benefit to the injured party. Whether or not it’s on the record, any comment you give can impact your claim. Your Denver car accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights and decide on the best course of action. They will be able to point out factors that could potentially affect future lawsuits.
2. The extent of your injuries may not be fully apparent yet. Insurance companies contact injured victims very soon after the incident. They know that you might have adrenaline that can delay your onset or presentation of symptoms. If you have communications early on with an adjuster, focus on discussing the property damage rather than your injuries.
3. Insurance companies will compare your statement with the previous reports you’ve given. They will compare and look for inconsistencies in all your accounts (e.g., to police, during a deposition, to the insurance company). You probably did not intentionally tell different versions of your story, but they will find a way to make it seem that way. Even a tiny inconsistency in your stories can hurt your case.
4. Your recording could be used in court and come back to haunt you. While you may have thought you were being polite and solely stating facts, even an inconsequential discrepancy in your statements can discredit you.
Should I Comply With My Own Insurance Company?
If your own insurance company asks you to provide a recorded statement, you may be obligated to do so. Many policies require the policyholder to cooperate by giving statements upon request. A Denver car accident attorney can advise you on your rights and responsibilities relevant to your policy.
How a Denver Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
Insurance companies may not be on your side, but your Denver car accident attorney will be. By choosing the right attorney, you can gain some peace of mind that someone will be in your corner fighting to help protect your rights and get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating, especially when physically and emotionally injured. In addition, there is financial compensation at stake. Having a trustworthy, dependable, and experienced car accident attorney will make all the difference in your experience and the case’s outcome.
Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney
Working with a competent, seasoned Denver car accident attorney can ultimately spell the difference between the success or failure of your case. Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy task to find a good attorney. The stress of an injury or financial hardships can take a toll on anyone, and an inadequate or inexperienced lawyer will only add to your frustration.
Make sure you find the right attorney who can represent you fully and fairly. Do not make the false assumption that all Denver personal injury attorneys are of equal caliber. Instead, do your research and ask the right questions to ensure you make an informed decision and find the best attorney for your case.
Call us today for a free initial consultation. We will happily discuss your legal rights and fight to win you the total compensation you deserve.