If you’ve been injured in an accident or due to another person’s negligence and the responsible party’s insurance contacts you for details about the incident, your first thought may be that the insurance company is trying to be helpful. The duty of a claims adjuster is to limit the amount of money for which the insurance company is liable— not to offer you a fair settlement.
Many claims adjusters will ask that these phone interviews be recorded for quality control, but they are really making an attempt to gather evidence that can be used to excuse their company from liability. Always speak to a reputable injury attorney before communicating with any insurance company about your injury case in order to protect yourself from being caught in this trap.
Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
If an insurance company specifically asks to record your conversation, you have the right to refuse. Most people believe that it is standard procedure and that in order to have a conversation with a claims adjuster, it must be recorded. The insurance company must obtain your permission to record the call, however, and you are not obligated to give it.
There are many ways that insurance companies are able to dodge responsibility in court and the information that they collect from you is for the sole purpose of finding a fault or flaw in your case. If you were in a car accident, for example, the insurance company may ask for details about your speed, the direction you were traveling, the location of the accident and other details that you may appear to be minor. These questions are typically used in order to determine fault and the insurance company may use your own recorded answers to argue that their client was not at fault for the accident.
Recorded Statements are not Required, Regardless of what you are told
If you turn down an adjuster’s request to record your conversation, you may be told that a recorded statement is required per the policy. Always speak with your injury lawyer prior to giving a recorded statement and if an insurance company pressures you and demands that you provide one, wait to do so until you after have spoken with your attorney. Your attorney will go over all of the information that the insurance company may be looking for and how to give a statement without damaging your case.
Unintentional Errors in Recollection
If you ever find yourself in doubt about how to respond to an insurance company, it is always best to postpone your statement until you have had time to consult with your counsel on the matter. Insurance companies want you to give a statement as soon as possible in order to try to catch you in a mistake. You may unintentionally provide inaccurate information about your injury as you attempt to recall all of the details that the insurance company asks for. For this reason, you want to review what happened with your attorney first and piece together the incident before an insurance company takes a statement.
Keep in mind that you are unable to take back anything that you have said when the statement has been recorded. You may realize after the fact that things did not actually unfold in the manner that you described. It is possible that you may forget some critical details about your case while you are giving your statement and without those details in your statement, the insurance company may build a case that exonerates them from all responsibility.
The Role Of An Attorney & Counselor In A Personal Injury Case
Knowing your rights is important and most people fall into the trap set for them by insurance companies because they are unaware of their right to refuse a recorded statement. Before you speak to anyone about your injuries, always discuss your case with a qualified injury attorney. Doing so can make a huge difference in winning your case and in determining the amount of damages that you are entitled to compensation for.