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Should you give a statement to the insurance company after you’ve been injured in an auto accident?
Soon after the wreck, possibly even while you are still recovering in a hospital room, the insurance adjuster for the other driver will call. He seems like a nice guy – he’s concerned about the extent of your injuries, and he just needs to take a recorded statement from you so they can consider your claim.
You should never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company after an auto accident, no matter how friendly and helpful the adjuster sounds on the phone. You should politely decline and refer them to your personal injury attorney – below, we will discuss why.
No matter how friendly and helpful they sound, the other driver’s insurance adjuster is not on your side.
Insurance companies do not make money by paying claims. They make money by collecting premiums, investing those premiums, and then denying, limiting, or delaying claims. They will look for any reason they can find to deny your claim or to limit your claim, and one way they do this is by getting a recorded statement from you before you talk to your personal injury attorney.
Even when they don’t find a colorable reason to deny or limit your claim, they will delay paying your claim as long as possible because time is money when your assets are invested…
The insurance adjuster might tell you that they just want to get your statement before they can consider your claim.
They want you to tell them about the facts that would prove liability on the other driver’s part – or that would make you at fault, even if it is only partial fault. They want you to tell them about your injuries – not so they can compensate you for them, but so they can lock you into a statement that minimizes your potential recovery.
Their job is not to pay your claim – their job is to deny your claim or to pay you the least amount possible.
How do insurance adjusters use an accident victim’s statement to deny or limit their injury claims?
If your own insurance company wants you to give them a statement after an auto accident, that may be a different situation entirely.
Your insurance company should be on your side, but you should be aware that, sometimes, even your own insurance company’s interests can become adverse to your own. What should you do?
You have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company – if you do not, it may give them an excuse to not pay an otherwise valid claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or a counterclaim filed by the other driver.
You should 1) immediately notify your insurance company after any auto accident, regardless of who was at fault, and 2) do not decline to give them a statement but consult with your auto accident attorney first.
You may have options other than submitting to questioning and providing a recorded statement, like providing a written statement that your attorney can help you to prepare.
If you have been in an automobile accident, it is likely that the other driver’s insurance company will be contacting you soon after to attempt to get a recorded statement from you – don’t do it. Consult with an experienced auto accident attorney before talking to the insurance company.
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