Never Give a Recorded Statement!
It is too early to know the existence or extent of any injuries. Giving a recorded statement to an insurance company after an accident can only hurt your potential injury claim.
Insurance Companies Want a Recorded Statement Right Away, Before You Know You Are HurtYou have just been in a car accident and an insurance adjuster is already calling you. You may be sore or stiff but, unless an ambulance took you to the emergency room, you likely are not yet sure if you are truly injured. It is natural for most people to think they will be just fine after some rest. However, it is usually not until the next day, after the adrenaline stops flowing and your body is at rest, that the true extent of the injury, stiffness, and pain will hit you.
An insurance adjuster is aware of this phenomenon. That is why the adjuster will intentionally call you the moment they are aware of the accident. They want to act fast to hopefully get you to state on record that you are feeling "fine" or "not hurt." In actuality, you have not had time to assess your injuries, let alone fully understand how the incident is likely going to be a total interruption of all aspects of your life, your job, and your family.
Moreover, many of our clients think the adjuster is being nice, thoughtful, and caring enough to call, which gives them a false sense of trust. Do not fall into that trap! The large majority of our clients that gave a recorded statement early, did not state the true extent of their actual pain and injuries. More times than not, they will even state on the record that they are "fine" or just a "little sore" because, at the time of the adjuster's call, that was the truth as they knew it. We have had many injured clients who incorrectly minimized the extent of their injuries in an early recorded statement, that did not know they would eventually need a surgery or some other advanced procedure weeks or months down the road.
What is Said in a Recorded Statement Will Hurt Your Injury Claim: Have a Lawyer PresentI can tell you that my Law Firm almost never grants a request for a recorded statement. This is especially true when liability for the accident is clear (such as in a rear-end accident). Make no mistake about it -- the only purpose for the insurance adjuster to take your statement is to get you to admit things on the record that are against your interest, which will be used against you later in assessing the value of your injury claim. You can bet that when the adjuster has a recorded statement, they will later try to argue that you were not hurt in the accident because of what was said unknowingly within minutes or hours of the accident.
On the rare occasion that I do grant a recorded statement, I am always present during the statement to protect the interests of our client. Even if you are going to attempt to handle your own insurance claim, it is almost impossible to avoid giving a statement. The insurance adjuster will falsely tell you that they cannot proceed with your injury claim until they have a recorded statement about the accident and your injuries. This is not true! Instead, let the adjuster know that there is a police report that will be made available that should make it clear that the other driver was at fault for the accident. If the adjuster still insists on a recorded statement, please call our office first for a free consultation. It is true, if you give a recorded statement, you should not expect the insurance adjuster to offer you more money later for your cooperation.
We know that many times a statement has already been provided before you have had a chance to call an attorney. If this has happened to you, it is not too late to give us a call. We know how to deal with damaging recorded statements to still maximize the amount you deserve for the total interruption of your life caused by the other driver's negligence.