If you are filing a claim for compensation for your injuries after a car accident, you may be surprised at how quickly the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster contacts you after the accident. One of the first requests may be that you give a recorded statement. Some accident victims make the mistake of agreeing to give one, thinking that they have nothing to hide. Even when the other driver was 100 percent at fault in causing your injuries, it is never a good idea to agree to give a recorded statement.
Reasons That You Do Not Want to Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Adjuster
A recorded statement is a tape-recorded question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster. This recording is then transcribed into a written version that can be used—often against you—at your trial and other court hearings. Here are reasons why you do not want to agree to give a recorded statement:
- Not required. In Virginia, you are not required to give a recorded statement to receive a settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance company following an accident. If you agree to give one, you could inadvertently hurt your claim for compensation.
- Inconsistent statements. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver has a duty to investigate your claim before agreeing to a settlement and to raise any disputes that can be used to deny or reduce your claim. If you give a recorded statement, the adjuster will be looking for any inconsistent statements you make that can be used to reduce your credibility as a witness. If you are a less credible witness, what you say regarding how the accident occurred and the seriousness of your injuries may be questioned, which in turn weakens your claim.
- Misunderstood questions. You could easily misunderstand a question that the adjuster asks and give an answer that you did not mean and that weakens your claim. In addition, the adjuster could ask you questions that results in you answering in a way that hurt your case—sometimes without you even realizing it.
You should always consult with an experienced car accident attorney before agreeing to give a recorded statement. Your best strategy is to hire a lawyer right away and let him handle all the communications with the insurance adjuster so that you do not make this or other mistakes.
If you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, let our experienced legal team file your claim and negotiate your settlement for you. We are committed to thoroughly investigating your claim, building a strong case against the negligent driver, and aggressively fighting to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.