Silence Is Golden: What To Know About Recorded Statements And Personal Injury Claims

Being injured in an accident is undoubtedly stressful, and the claims process can be extremely complicated and confusing. Part of this process will very likely involve a phone call from a claims adjuster for the other side's insurance company, requesting that you discuss your accident on the phone. You should understand that it is probably not in your best interest to participate in this recorded interview session, and that doing so could greatly jeopardize your claim. Read on to learn more about how to handle these requests and why it's not a good idea to comply with them.

The Recorded Statement

Make no mistake about it, the insurance adjuster works for the opposing side, and does not have your best at heart concerning this claim. Don't be misled into believing that you must give a recorded statement, or that this is simply a formality before they cut a big check for you.

Why is Giving a Statement Such a Problem?

Remember, insurance companies are not in business to give you a fair settlement; they are for-profit entities, and the insurance adjuster is on the front line for the battle to pay out as little as possible for settlements. These professionals are very good at making you feel comfortable and secure, but the motivation for this politeness is questionable. The major problem with giving these statements is the myriad opportunities to misspeak and do irreparable harm to your claim.

Being Inconsistent

Since you are already stressed out by the accident and your injuries, the chance you may say something that could later be misconstrued is very high. This can happen by:

  • Trying to remember key details for the adjuster. Memory loss after a traumatic event could make it difficult to give an accurate account of the accident.
  • Telling slightly different versions of the accident story to different people. Memory is not only unreliable, but it can also come and go, making it seem that you are making things up as you go along.
  • The adjustor asking leading questions which end up with you accidentally getting trapped into making a statement that is inconsistent with previous accounts that you gave to:
  1. The other driver and car occupants
  2. Medical personel at the scene and at the hospital
  3. Witnesses
  4. Your own insurance representative

Your Insurance Company

Unlike giving a statement to the other side's agency, you will very likely have to give a statement to your own insurance representative; it's probably a provision of your coverage. You should prepare carefully for this phone call by doing your homework beforehand: review your notes and paperwork about the accident. Keep your answers concise and don't volunteer unasked information.

Consult with an attorney like Greg S. Memovich for more help if you have been asked to give a recorded statement.