One of the most dangerous things you can do as the victim of a personal injury accident is to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or anyone else involved in the case. It is inevitable that the insurance company and defense attorneys will ask you for a statement, but giving one without consulting a personal injury attorney can be a recipe for disaster.
Why Should I Avoid Talking To The Insurance Adjuster?
When you are involved in an accident, there is usually at least one and probably two insurance companies involved. Your own insurance company may be paying your medical bills through your Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage and the other driver’s insurance company may be liable for other damages.
The simple fact is that the other insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying your claim. This may include trying to get a statement from you and then use your own words against you in order to support claim denial. Read our article on 5 tactics insurance adjusters use to reduce your claim amount for additional information.
Here are some simple questions and answers regarding talking to an insurance adjuster:
Q: Am I required to answer the questions of the other insurance company’s adjuster?
A: No, you are not required to give a statement to anyone unless there is a legal requirement, such as a contract, statute, or court order. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will assist you in determining whether any legal requirement exists.
Q. Do I have to talk to my own insurance company’s adjuster?
A: If your insurance company is paying any portion of your bills, they do have the right to demand a recorded statement, although they will usually not ask for one. If they do, and you refuse to give it, you may find that your company denies payment of your claim. The best way to handle any request from your own insurance company is to advise them now is not a good time. Your next step should be to call a personal injury attorney and discuss the request.
Q: May I ask questions of the other company’s adjuster before giving a statement?
A: You may ask anything you want, but the chances of you getting any answers are slim. You may ask how much insurance is available under the policy of the person who hit you and if the company will admit in writing that the accident was their insured’s fault.
Q: Should I sign medical releases?
A: Never sign medical releases except on the advice of your attorney. This is the only way an insurance company can see your medical records without a court order, so do not give them this information unless there is a legal obligation to do so.
Q: What if I tell the truth?
A: Almost everyone tells the truth when they are interviewed in a recorded setting. Telling the truth, however, will not stop the insurance company from using your testimony against you and twisting your words, or taking them out of context in an effort to deny your claim.
Q: Can giving a recorded statement help my case?
A: It is probably safe to say that allowing the other insurance company to take a recorded statement from you has never once helped a victim collect any money for his or her injuries. However, it has prevented many victims from getting just compensation from the people who hit them.
What Should I Do Instead?
Instead of giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, contact a personal injury attorney at David & Philpot P.L. (800.360.7015). The call is free. You may also fill out a free case evaluation form and we will get right back with you. We’ll consult with you about your case and advise you on how you can protect yourself from making critical mistakes that could reduce the amount of money you are legally entitled to
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