Avoid giving a written or oral statement to any insurance company until after you have consulted with a car accident attorney.
Most people are conditioned to be polite and comply with reasonable requests. But if you have been in a car accident, that politeness could harm your claim for recovery.
Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies. Part of their job is to minimize the amount of damages that they pay out for a particular claim. This often means getting those involved in an accident to give a statement either orally in writing. Oral statements are almost always recorded, and may be used against you later. The adjuster will ask questions designed to help the insurance company and hurt your claim, and many people don’t realize the questions being asked will end up be harmful to their cases. Many times, people will simply comply with the request for a statement out of politeness.
In car accident cases, two insurance companies are typically involved: your own insurance company and the other driver’s. You usually have to give your own insurance company a statement about what happened in the accident, under the terms of your policy. However, you are not under any obligation to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. As a general rule, giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company will only hurt your case.
The insurance adjuster is often just looking for ways to deny your claim or reduce the total amount they will have to pay. He or she may ask a number of questions designed to make it appear as though you are at fault for the accident. You may get defensive or flustered, or even become confused. The insurance adjuster is not required to play fair while taking your statement. He or she does not have to tell you what the insurance company knows about the other driver — such as whether they were taking medication, was on the phone, or maybe even that they admitted that they were at fault. Instead, the adjuster will continue to ask questions to attempt to get you to say something that they can use against you to reduce their own liability for the claim.
If you have been in an accident, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster shortly afterwards, either in person or by telephone. Remember that if it is the adjuster for the other driver’s insurance, you are under no obligation to talk to him or her. Do not let your inclination to be polite overcome your desire to protect your own interests. Respectfully decline to give a statement, and tell the adjuster that you are speaking to an attorney. After consulting with a car accident lawyer, you may change you mind and decide to give a statement. You are always able to go back and give one. But once you have given a statement, you can’t take it back, so it is wise to get counsel from an experienced car accident attorney before you make a decision either way.
If you have been hurt in an accident, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help you recover for your injuries. Contact our offices at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!