You were just injured in an automobile accident, and, within hours, the insurance company calls asking for a recorded statement. Should you agree? What do you do?
There’s no one answer for every situation. Whether you agree to a recorded statement depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. The biggest concern is that the insurance company will later use what you say in the recorded statement against you. The old expression goes “you have the right to remain silent . . . anything you say can and will be used against you.” While usually related to criminal matters, it also applies to recorded statements.
The first thing to consider is whose insurance company is asking for the recorded statement. If it’s your insurance company, your policy most likely requires you to cooperate. If you refuse to give a recorded statement, your insurance company has the right to deny your claim. If it’s the other party’s insurance company asking for the recorded statement and the request is made prior to a lawsuit being filed, you have the option of declining a recorded statement.
After considering the pros and cons, if you (and your attorney) have decided to go forward, you need to carefully prepare for the recorded statement and treat it like a deposition. Make sure you thoroughly review the facts and circumstances and go over all relevant paperwork. During the recorded statement, both what you say and how you say it will be used by the insurance company to not only evaluate your claim, but also to potentially poke holes in your claim.
Should you retain an attorney before speaking with the insurance adjustor? If you have serious injuries or you have suffered extensive property losses, in our opinion, having an attorney is necessary to level the playing field against the big insurance companies. Taking on insurance companies, who have virtually unlimited resources to work with and whose goal is to minimize each claim, is not easy.
If you’re asked to give a recorded statement to an insurance company, please call us first for a free consultation. We have years of experience dealing with insurance claims, know the law inside and out, and will aggressively advocate on your behalf.