Should Accident Victims Provide a Statement to the Insurance Company?
Insurance adjusters often contact accident victims shortly after an accident and ask them to give a recorded statement. While the insurance adjuster may claim that giving a recorded statement will help speed up the process, he or she is really trying to get information to use against you to deny the claim or reduce its value.
Before agreeing to give a recorded statement, you should consider reaching out to a trusted attorney. The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC offer a free consultation to discuss your claim.
Tricks Insurance Companies Use When Talking to Victims
Insurance adjusters have been trained to use various tactics to try to get victims to say things that will weaken or damage their claims:
- Acting like your friend – The insurance adjuster may act friendly to get you to feel more comfortable and say something that hurts your credibility. For example, you may feel like you are talking to a friend and say you had a drink at a restaurant just before the accident. The insurance company may use statements like these to try to blame the accident on you.
- Asking leading questions – Insurance adjusters may phrase questions to try to lead you into a response that may damage your claim. They may try to push you into agreeing to statements that are not true. They may also try to make you think you remember less about the accident than you really do.
One of the dangers of saying too much to the insurance company is they will compare your statement to others you made to the police officer or your medical provider. If the adjuster finds inconsistencies, he or she may try to attack your credibility and imply that you were lying as justification to deny your claim. If your case goes to trial, the defense attorney may use your statement similarly.
Do’s and Don’ts with Statements to Insurance Companies
If you do give a statement to an insurance company, here are some general do’s and don’ts to guide you:
- Do not volunteer unnecessary information
- Provide factual answers
- Avoid signing anything without advice from your lawyer
- Refer the adjuster to your lawyer if you do not know the answer to something
- Do not provide opinions
- Do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” if this is accurate
- Do not guess or estimate
- Do not admit fault or guilt
Written Statements vs. Recorded Statements
Your lawyer may help you prepare a written statement instead of giving a recorded statement so that you can avoid the adjuster’s traps. A written statement will provide the basic information about the accident from your own perspective without the leading questions from insurance adjusters. You can review this statement and ensure that it is accurate.
Let Your Lawyer Do the Talking
After an accident, you may be confused, anxious and in pain. This may make you forget things or not communicate information clearly. Most personal injury attorneys will tell victims to avoid giving a statement under these conditions.
If you hire an attorney, he or she can deal with the insurance company for you. Personal injury lawyers are accustomed to talking to insurance adjusters on a regular basis and know what information to give and when to help protect your claim.
Contact Lynch Law Firm, PC
Our firm is dedicated to protecting the interests of accident victims. If you hire our attorneys, we are prepared to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We are familiar with the tactics that insurance adjusters use to devalue claims.
Contact us today to set up your free case review. Our law firm charges no upfront fees and we only get paid if you recover compensation.
Call (800) 518-0508 today.