If you have recently been in a car accident or otherwise suffered personal injury through no fault of your own, you’re likely to have put in a claim with an insurance company. In fact, you may already have heard from one of its adjusters who happens to have made what might seem like a small and meaningless request. All they want from you is a recorded statement in which you explain the way in which the incident took place and the type of injuries you have suffered as a result. They will likely tell you that until you have given this statement, they will be unable to process your claim.
Are you feeling a little queasy about this? If you’re not, you should be.
The sad truth is that regardless of the severity of your plight, insurance adjusters will never have your best interests at heart. The company’s bottom line is their only concern, and when it comes to making good on a claim, most will be only too happy to use your recorded words against you. That’s why anyone who can possibly avoid complying with this request should make every effort to do so.
You may not always have that option. Under certain conditions, you may have no choice but to acquiesce.
When Your Own Insurer Demands a Recorded Statement
Although it doesn’t happen on a regular basis, there’s always the chance that your own insurance company will ask you for your vocally recorded documentation. If they do, you will have to decide whether agreeing to their request will be in your best interests. This will entail asking yourself:
- Will the adjuster treat me fairly?
- Does the insurance company have my back?
- Will an honestly recorded statement induce them to help me?
- Would the adjuster warn me if I start to say too much?
- Is the company as friendly as it looks on TV?
The answer to these questions is a resounding no. The adjuster represents his insurance company alone. He really couldn’t care less about you, and as much as you’d like to think otherwise, those commercials that charmed and hooked you were only meant to deceive.
Of course, the terms of your policy may leave you no choice but to proceed with the recording under danger of losing your benefits. If you should find yourself in this situation, insist on a statement in writing that insurer will not use the things you say against you, and bring along a personal injury attorney for your own protection.
When Two or More Insurers Want Recorded Statements
If your accident involved or was caused by at least one other party, the adjuster for his or her insurance company is even more likely to press you for a recorded statement. Regardless of whether you agree to give one to your own insurer, you must never under any circumstances do the same for an adjuster who comes at you from the other side.
You must always keep in mind that anything you say to the insurer of the person responsible for your accident is sure to come back and haunt you. That company is even less interested in your welfare than is your own. In the interest of scaling down the amount of money they will have to pay you, they can and will use anything they can against you. What could do that better than your own recorded words?
When the opposing insurance company asks you for your oral documentation, remember this: Unless they come with court order in hand, you are under no obligation to give them a thing.
What to Expect in a Recording Session
If the terms of your policy should oblige you to provide a recorded statement, you may have no choice but to agree. However, it is essential to postpone the session until you’ve consulted a lawyer. This is even more important if the accident for which you seek relief has caused you a severe injury.
It’s also essential that you come to the session mentally prepared. The adjuster will ask you a series of significant questions in the hopes of getting you to say something that is not in your best interests. Think before you speak, and do your best to remain calm, polite and wary.
The adjuster will try in every way he can to get you to describe the accident in your own words. Don’t do it. It is fine to state for the record your name, address, contact information and place of employment. You can even attest to the date, the time and the names of the people involved. However, you are under no obligation to record a detailed play-by-play of the incident. You can tell the adjuster that you do not feel comfortable giving an oral account but instead will give a written statement once you have gotten all your ducks in a row.
Before doing a thing, however, it is vital to get the advice of an attorney. The personal injury lawyers at Weiner Law Group have walked numerous clients through insurance company recording sessions, and we can do the same for you. If you face this situation yourself and have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We offer a free injury consultation, just call us at 702-202-0500 today.