No. One big mistake that victims of slip and fall and other premises liability accidents make is to agree to give a recorded statement to the negligent party’s insurance company. While the insurance adjuster’s request may seem innocent—it is not—and you could significantly hurt your claim for compensation for your injuries if you agree to give one.
Why the Insurance Company Wants a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is a question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster that is tape-recorded and later transcribed into a written document. The insurance company wants you to agree to give one for a few reasons.
The insurance adjuster has a duty to investigate your accident before deciding whether to offer you a settlement. The recorded statement can help him get a better picture of how you were hurt.
However, the insurance adjuster has another reason for wanting your recorded statement—to compare it to any other statements you made. The information he could find would help him to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve.
Three Reasons Not to Agree to a Recorded Statement
If you know that you were not at fault in causing your accident, you may feel like you have nothing to hide and that agreeing to a recorded statement would not be harmful. However, here are three reasons to just say no:
- Not required. You are not required to give a recorded statement to settle your claim with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster has other ways that he can complete an investigation into the cause of your accident.
- Inconsistent statements. The insurance adjuster is skilled in asking questions that may be confusing or are designed to get you to inadvertently say something that weakens your case. This can include making an inconsistent statement that hurts your credibility or agreeing that your injuries are not that serious. He would use these statements against you in settlement negotiations.
- Court. Your recorded statement could also be used against you in any court hearings or at your jury trial. Even if you said something you did not mean and try to explain this later, your recorded statement could damage how your claim and you are perceived by the judge and jury.
What to Do If the Insurance Company Asks for a Recorded Statement
If the insurance company contacts you and requests that you give a recorded statement, you should politely say no and inform the insurance adjuster that you will have your lawyer contact them. If you have not already hired an experienced premises liability attorney, now is the time to do so—let him handle all communications with the insurance company. To find out how we can aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve, call our Norfolk office to schedule your appointment today.