Shortly after a motor vehicle accident, there is a strong chance an insurance adjuster will request to record a statement. Most insurance companies call to request a statement within days of the accident. The insurance adjuster will be eager to take your recorded statement and may be ready to conduct questioning immediately upon your consent. Remember, anything you say, can and will be use against you. Every action taken by an insurance company is done to avoid or limit the amount of money it must spend. The intent of recording a statement is not to protect you.
Am I Required to Provide a Recorded Statement?
Almost always, the insurance company seeking a recorded statement is not your insurance company; but the insurer of the other individual who was involved in the accident. Their number one goal is to limit the liability on the part of their insured in an attempt to save money. Adjusters will use an array of strategies to coax you into providing a recording statement. Often, the adjuster will make it sound like the recording is mandatory and necessary. At other times, the adjusters will be friendly, seemingly working for your benefit. Don’t be fooled.
Here at Tocci Law, we advise our clients not to provide insurance companies with recorded statements, especially immediately following the accident. Just after an accident, you may be emotional and/or disoriented. This could cause you to accidentally provide incorrect details to the insurance company, such as incorrect direction of travel. Additionally, insurance adjusters are trained to bait you into expressing your version of the events to minimize the liability on their insured. Statements, such as, “I’m sorry,” “I didn’t see them,” “Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad,” “I’m fine,” “It happened so fast, it was a blur,” “I think that…” and other ostensibly neutral statements could be used against you at a later time. Insurance adjusters may ask leading questions, misleading you into answering to their benefit.
Symptoms of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident frequently do not manifest instantly after the accident. As a result, asserting to an insurance company that you are not experiencing injuries could have a critically negative effect on your case. This is partially the reason insurance companies attempt to record a statement immediately following the accident (most within 24 hours!).
If your own insurance company requests a recorded statement, you may be required to comply. Beware of situations where multiple individuals are covered by the same insurance company. It could be tricky to decipher whether you’re required to comply or whether you’re being beguiled. It is in your favor to hire an attorney early on so that we may best advise you throughout the entire matter.
Should I Provide a Recorded Statement?
Everything you say on a recorded statement will be compared to police reports, statements made to different insurance companies, witness statements, etc. Each and every discrepancy could be construed against you. If your case proceeds to trial, your recorded statements could potentially be used to impeach your testimony years later.
In certain cases, we will decide that a recorded statement may benefit our client’s claim. In those situations, we prepare our clients to strictly communicate the facts in chronological order. It is best to consult an attorney prior to speaking to the involved insurance companies to fully protect your rights. The consequence of providing a recorded statement without legal representation could potentially prevent you from receiving compensation for injuries and property damage.
Tocci Law protects your rights from start to finish. We protect your best interests by handling all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf. If any insurance company is requesting a recorded statement after you’ve been involved in an auto accident, schedule a free consultation with our legal team (631) 343-7676.