If you’re in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, expect to hear from the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster may pleasantly offer to “help” you and ask for a quick statement to “shore up liability”—they’re actually attempting to reduce your compensation. Generally speaking, never give a recorded statement, or oral statement, to the other driver’s insurance company without the guidance of an auto accident attorney.
Here’s what can go wrong with recorded statements:
- The insurance company will compare your statement with others you’ve given concerning the case (e.g., investigating police officer, court deposition, etc.). Small inconsistencies are normal in multiple statements given weeks, sometimes months apart. However, the insurance company will accuse you of lying.
- The insurance company might frame questions in such a way as to trick you into giving responses that hurt your case. They may also pressure you into “I guess so” answers that could come back to haunt you.
- Your recorded statement may be utilized in your cross-examination at trial (or during your deposition). Any apparent discrepancies in your testimony will be emphasized to the jury to discredit you.
If you insist on going it alone and giving a recorded statement, consider the following:
- Have your accident report, medical history, and current medical bills on hand.
- Answer questions with facts only. Never speculate or guess.
- Don’t offer more information than necessary—only what is specifically asked for.
- Keep your emotions in check.
- Obtain a transcript of your recorded statement to verify its accuracy.
If you’ve been the victim of a negligent driver, contact an auto accident attorney to safeguard your rights.