Read This Before You Give a Recorded Statement for an Insurance Claim
You could jeopardize your car accident claim by giving a recorded statement for an insurance claim without first preparing. An insurance adjuster might attempt to use the statement to deny your claim or reduce its value.
Why You Should Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement Right AwayWhen giving an oral statement right after the crash, you might skip details or forget pieces of information that are important for your insurance claim. Your emotions might still be flaring on your first call to the insurance company, and it's best to allow yourself time to cool down and collect your thoughts before giving a statement. You might not yet have all of the information about what happened to cause or contribute to the accident in the hours or days after the accident. Your injuries may be more serious than you first thought, or may worsen over a period of time, and this is not information that you have access to soon after the accident. The problem is that once the statement is recorded, it is difficult to change information. When the adjuster takes a statement, even one obtained over the phone, he can use it to try to reduce your claim's value or even deny its client's liability for the accident.
Handling the Initial Call to the Insurance Company after an AccidentReport your accident to your insurance company. It may not try to deny liability, as your own coverage may be no-fault coverage that pays you compensation regardless of fault. If you're filing a no-fault claim with your insurer, though, you will have to collect adequate evidence of your damages. Also report the accident to the other driver's insurance company. As liability will be a factor in a third-party liability claim against the at-fault driver, the insurance adjuster try to use your words to deflect fault - some or all of it - away from its client and onto you. So when you call the other party's insurance company, keep any statements very basic at first. Provide the date and time of day, the location of the accident, all of the parties that were involved, and a basic description of what happened, e.g., the other driver struck my vehicle on the passenger side.
What to Do If Your Insurance Adjuster Pressures You to Give a StatementMake no mistake about it - the insurance company may apply pressure to give a recorded statement as quickly as possible. These are common insurer tactics, but you can tell your insurance company that you would like to give a written statement or would like to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster at a later time when you are ready to do so. Talk to a lawyer about your accident if it caused serious injuries or damages, and get help investigating the cause and any contributing factors. Your attorney can also help you prepare a written or verbal statement for the insurance company.