If you are the innocent victim in an auto accident in a fault (or “tort”) state, the other party’s insurance company will be calling, requesting that you give a statement and likely wanting to record it. Never agree to either without the guidance of an auto accident attorney.
Why Shouldn't I Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster’s allegiance is to their company, not you. They’re looking to deny claims, minimize compensation payouts, and/or shift blame.
You are under no legal obligation to give a statement, recorded or otherwise. And there’s no upside to doing so. (An adjuster might dangle the carrot of receiving quicker payment … likely at an amount far below your case’s value.) Here’s how recorded statements can harm claims:
- They can be compared with other statements a person makes, such as those with an investigating police officer or during a lawsuit deposition. Multiple statements made weeks or months apart may show inconsistencies (which isn’t unusual). The opposition will seek to exploit that.
- Adjusters are well-versed in asking questions that trap or trick you into responses that weaken your claim.
- An adjuster may ask a claimant how they’re feeling. A claimant who answers that question may come to regret it, as some injuries don’t become evident until days, even weeks, later. And once a recorded statement is taken, there are no do-overs.
On a side note, in no-fault states, auto accident claims are filed with a person’s own insurance company, regardless of who’s at fault. You may be required to give a recorded statement as a condition of your insurance coverage.
If you are injured in an auto accident, contact an auto accident attorney to protect your interests.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help After a Crash
Sometimes, even the safest drivers can find themselves involved in an accident due to the behavior of an aggressive driver. In those situations, the aggressive driver can be held responsible and made to pay for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
In Alaska, accident victims can rely on attorney Ben Crittenden to help. As a personal injury lawyer, Ben has worked hard to make sure his clients’ voices are heard and they are able to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Every accident victim deserves the chance to recover as fully as possible, and Ben is here to help you meet that goal. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident because of an aggressive driver, take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page, or request a free copy of Ben’s book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your rights.