Do I Need to Give a Statement to an Insurance Adjuster after a Car Accident?
No. As a party or witness to an auto accident, you have no obligation to speak with any person except a police officer.
It does not matter whether they are from an insurance company, lawyer’s office, or somewhere else.
Why Do People Talk to Insurance Companies after Car Accidents?
You may provide a recorded statement because it has become common practice for many Illinois auto insurance companies to telephone a person involved in a car accident shortly following the incident to ask them questions about how the accident occurred or what types of injuries they may have sustained.
While such questions may seem relatively innocent, they are coming from the company that will likely be responsible for paying you compensation for your injuries.
Insurance companies often use these statements against you in order to minimize the value of your case and thus offer a low claim settlement, or even to reject your claim altogether.
Consequently, most accident attorneys strongly advise that you do not give a recorded statement following a car accident to an insurance adjuster.
Our law firm can give you legal advice in a free consultation after a car accident so that you know how to give a recorded statement to insurance adjusters from your insurance company or from the other driver's insurance company.
What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Contacts Me after an Auto Wreck?
Instead of speaking with the insurance company following your accident, you should write a letter of notification to the at-fault driver's insurer notifying them of the accident.
Include only your name, date and location of the accident, the nature of your injuries, and the date of the letter. After sending the letter of notification, allow your attorney to deal with the insurance companies.
Personal injury lawyers know how much information is necessary to turn over when you give a statement in the claims process to the other party.
Giving away too much information, such as a medical authorization form, may harm your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
Also remember that when giving a statement to a law enforcement officer or the other driver after an accident, never admit fault, even if you think you might have been at fault.
Since police reports become part of the case record, this and any other statement you make could be used by the insurer against you at a later point.
Talk to personal injury lawyers from our law firm in a free consultation before you give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster (or insurance adjusters) from your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company.
This will help the injured in a car accident claim or personal injury cases with the claims adjuster (yours or the other party's insurance adjuster) so they can make up for medical bills, property damage, and other losses.
What Exactly are Insurance Companies Trying to Do after an Auto Wreck?
When the other driver's insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement, they have specific goals in mind. Specifically, claims adjusters are going to use the recorded statements and claims process to try and deny your claims.
How will the claims adjuster and insurance business they work for use the claim process to deny claims?
They normally try and shape the recorded statement and other items from the accident in the following ways:
- Say the incident was your fault
- Shift the burden to another insurance carrier
- Minimize your damages
- Argue the policy is inapplicable
Remember that you may be entitled to money and relief following a motor vehicle collision. A lawyer or auto attorney can help clients when giving a recorded statement so they may maximize their compensation under the law.
Accident victims can contact our law firm for legal advice and a free consultation about their own insurance company or the other driver's insurance company.
Setting up an effective attorney client relationship will ensure a lawyer can work with the injured when they give a statement so as not to defeat their personal injury claim.
We can answer your questions about the crash and your individual case or anything for general information purposes about most cases go over the phone or in person.
How Can a Recorded Statement be Used Against You (even by your own insurance company)?
Businesses in the insurance industry profit by collecting premiums and not paying out on claims. Part of how they do that is by using the recorded statement you give against you, often through their adjuster.
Here are a few ways how they typically do that:
- They may try and argue your statements are inconsistent and do not match up
- They could claim third party witnesses or other parties directly contradict what you say
- They could offer alternative theories for how the event occurred because there are gaps in your words
- They may offer that your fuzzy memory or medical state renders your impressions and statements irrelevant, or worse, wrong as a matter of fact
- They could imply your inexperience or unfamiliarity on the matter renders your opinion irrelevant
This is why you should only speak to an insurance company after any accident with an attorney well-versed in the law. Only then you can rest assured that your claim will get maximum coverage to the full extent of the law.
You can call us today over the phone or see us in person to discuss how the accident injured you and answer all of your questions. The next section reviews how a lawyer can assist you with a statement.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Give a Recorded Statement?
As you can see from the foregoing sections, you will need an attorney when battling with various parties following a motor vehicle crash including insurance.
More than anything else, it will give you peace of mind that someone is on your side or in the corner as the big companies come bearing down on you with all their resources.
However, there are also tangible roles they can play. Here are a few to consider before you give a recorded statement:
- First, they can help you go over your story so you do not leave anything out
- Second, they can help you practice telling your story so you are not nervous
- Third, they can help you check your story against the law so you know you are allowed to recover
An adjuster may try to pester you about recorded statements after the crash. Remember you are allowed to consult an attorney first and the following section should motivate you to do so both for your sake and for that of your family.
Contact our legal team about legal counsel and legal services related to the claims process. An experienced attorney can help navigate the claims process and get a fair settlement from the at fault driver.
Get free consultations with no legal obligation about an injury claim or personal injury case today.
What You Need to Do after an Accident
You need to act fast following an incident so that insurance carriers, negligent drivers, large trucking companies, or other actors are held responsible for your harms and losses.
Here are some steps to take in the immediate aftermath of the wreck:
- Seek medical attention so you can get better and make a record of your injuries
- Memorialize the events to the best of your memory
- Do not give a recorded statement to any party without a lawyer
- Meet with an experienced auto accident attorney to craft a full plan of attack for your claims
For sure, there will be more to do, but you should do so only with a complete legal team after you learn about your rights and options.
Additional Benefit of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer to Help with Your Illinois Car Accident Case
One of the benefits of having an attorney represent you in a car accident case is that once you have legal representation, the insurance company cannot contact you directly. If they want to ask you questions about your case, they must go through your lawyer.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we always work with your best interests in mind. We simply will not allow an insurance company to get an unfair advantage because they wish to get information from you.
We have experience handling Illinois car accident cases involving almost every auto insurance company in the U.S., and we have dealt with insurance defense attorneys from all parts of the state.
We know the rules and the tricks these companies use to reduce the amounts they are obligated to pay you.
Contact our office today for a free review of your case so we can put you on the road to getting the compensation you deserve.