It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to ask car accident victims to provide a recorded statement.
They would often argue that the statement can speed up the claim process and help the victims get their compensation faster. The insurance adjuster may even sound friendly, helpful, and reasonable, so you may be tempted to give the statement.
However, always keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, meaning that their primary goal is to minimize their losses. What you say in your statement can and will be used against you to lower your compensation or deny your claim altogether. Before agreeing to anything, it’s wise to consult with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.
Am I Legally Required to Give a Recorded Statement?
The short answer is no, you don’t have to offer a recorded statement if you don’t want to, regardless of whether the request came from your insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
During the initial call with the insurance adjuster, they may ask for a recorded statement of your account of what happened during the accident. The adjuster may argue that they will use this information to analyze your claim and speed up the process. They will make a compelling case. They could even tell you that you may face legal repercussions if you don’t give them the statement. Don’t let yourself be fooled or scared by these tactics. Speak with an experienced attorney.
Insurance companies use recorded statements to try to catch claimants off on the wrong foot. For instance, they ask for the statement as quickly after the accident as possible, before you have time to speak with your lawyer and the investigators, or before all the injury symptoms start appearing. If you’ve suffered a soft tissue injury, such as whiplash, for example, it may take a few days for the symptoms to show up. You might not have noticed the neck pain yet, and thus tell the adjuster that you are feeling fine. If you start feeling pain in the next days, go to the doctor and find out that you have whiplash, it may be difficult to make a claim as your recorded statement says that you are fine.
What Should You Do?
The best thing you can do is to politely decline the request and inform the insurance adjuster that all communication should go through your lawyer.
If, after discussing this with your lawyer, you do decide to give a recorded statement, you should be very careful about what you say. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you can refuse to answer or consult with your lawyer first. If the insurance adjuster asks you to confirm information, don’t do it unless you are certain. Even something as innocent as “I guess so” can jeopardize your claim.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
There’s rarely an instance when giving a recorded statement can benefit your claim. An experienced St. Louis car accident attorney can explain to you when and how you should give one.
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