AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER WANTS TO TAKE MY RECORDED STATEMENT. SHOULD I DO THIS?
After a collision, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster who represents the other driver. They will often ask you about your injuries and want you to sign an authorization so they can get your medical records and ask you to give a recorded statement.
People often assume that they have to do this. And they often think that the insurance adjuster is trying to help them.
But that’s not really the case. Insurance bodily injury claims are adversarial. The insurance companies profit when they collect their premiums and pay out less in claims. So they want to pay as little as possible.
By giving a recorded statement, the adjuster may try to confuse you about how the accident happened or try to dissuade you from pursuing a claim for damages. The adjuster may also try to put words in your mouth about your injury not being so bad. This can harm your claim because later on if you something different than what you did in the recorded statement, you could be impeached (e.g. they will tell a jury that you are a liar) and it could hurt your claim. The adjuster might also set lower “reserves” which makes it harder to get more compensation later.
Until you’re done treating (before the lapse of the statute of limitations), there is no benefit to giving a recorded statement. When you are ready to settle your claims, with or without a lawyer, you can get all of the medical records, bills, loss of earnings information, any relevant photos and other documents and include your narrative about what happened. This is sufficient for the adjuster to evaulate your claim without exposing you to the risk of being impeached. If your claim requires a lawsuit, they will take your deposition which is similar to a recorded statement. There is no reason to give them two bites of the apple when it doesn’t benefit you. You should get what you deserve, not the minimum an adjuster offers. If you have a question, contact a lawyer (like me) for a free consultation.
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