You’ve been involved in a car accident. You’re hurting pretty badly, and you aren’t sure when your car’s going to be fixed. Your cell phone rings—it’s the other driver’s insurance company, and they want to know about the accident. Then they ask for a recorded statement—what’s your next step?
Learn more about how to handle these requests, and for more specialized advice regarding your personal injury case, call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815.
The Short Answer
The short answer is no, you should not give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company. There is no law that requires you to do so. Not only are you not required to honor this request, we highly recommend against doing so.
The Truth is Not an Absolute Defense
When we give this advice, many people wonder why. After all, what does it hurt if you tell the truth about the accident and how it has affected you? Truth is not an absolute defense—not against criminal activity and not against liability in a car accident. Even if you tell your account completely and accurately, you can bet that those words will pop up again during settlement negotiations or your court case. And when they do, they can be twisted around and taken out of context to damage your claim.
Your Words Can Only Hurt You
To understand why, you have to remember who is asking for the statement. The other party’s insurer is not your friend. Yes, the representative may be nice on the phone. Yes, they may seem concerned about your injuries and seem like they want to make things right. However, they do not have your best interests in mind.
Their goal is to save their company as much as possible. They won’t take your statement, see that their client was obviously at fault, and give up. They will pick through your statement to find things they can use to discredit you and offer less money. The bottom line is the things you say in a recorded statement can only hurt you—they will not be used to help you.
Your Statement Could Affect Your Settlement
This all means that what you say during a recorded statement could actually affect the amount you receive in a settlement. Assume that you do give a recorded statement. The adjuster will go through it and compare it, word for word, to what you told the police and what is written in the police report. Any discrepancy, no matter how minor or unimportant, puts a hole in your story and gives them a justification to doubt your credibility. Anything you say that may indicate that your injuries aren’t as severe as reported will also be used against you and drive down the value of your settlement.
Do not give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer. Again, there is no law requiring you to do so, and you are not doing yourself any favors by giving them the statement. Instead, reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your case and legal options. And if you have moderate to severe injuries, it is usually best to let an attorney take your case and handle communications with the insurance company.
What if My Insurance Company is Asking?
You may wonder what to do if your insurance company is the one asking for a statement. To start, it is relatively rare for the victim’s own insurance company to need a recorded statement. Recorded statements are primarily used to poke holes in the claimant’s testimony, so they are not likely to as for one unless it is an uninsured motorist claim. If they do as for a statement, it is still not in your best interests to it to them without first speaking with an attorney.
Turn to Burns, Cunningham & Mackey After Your Accident
When you get hurt in an accident, insurance companies are not on your side. This makes it very difficult to know who you can really trust as you try to get the compensation you deserve. We’re here to help you navigate this process and fight for the money you are owed. To schedule a consultation with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, call us at 251-260-3815 or contact us online.