Let’s say you were in a
car accident and it was the other driver’s fault. Soon after, you receive a call
from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster
says he’s trying to help you with your claim and all he needs to
get started is a recorded statement from you. You want to get the ball
rolling, so your first instinct is to say “yes,” but is this
the right thing to do?
In a word – no. You should never give a recorded statement without
an attorney’s guidance and legal advice. Insurance companies are
for-profit companies and their #1 priority is their bottom line. No insurance
adjuster ever received a raise, a promotion, or even a pat on the back
for offering a high payout or settlement. It’s the exact opposite.
The Insurance Company’s Motivation
Insurance companies are motivated to settle insurance claims
for as little as possible, period. One of the ways they accomplish this is by getting recorded statements
from plaintiffs (injured parties). When a plaintiff gives a recorded statement,
it can later be compared to the deposition or statements at trial to discredit
The plaintiff isn’t trying to give conflicting statements, but it’s
not uncommon for facts and details to be a little vague weeks or months
after an accident. The problem is that insurance companies know this,
so they’ll try to find conflicting statements to make the plaintiff
look like they’re dishonest or confused.
Not only that, but insurance adjusters can ask leading or misleading questions,
which can confuse the plaintiff during the recorded interview. The insurance
company’s intention is to use the recorded statement as a sort of
tool or weapon to reduce if not deny the claim altogether.
The bottom line? You should never give a recorded statement to an insurance
company without a lawyer’s advice. Otherwise, you could inadvertently
say something that could hurt your case. To protect yourself during the
contact a Columbia personal injury lawyer from our firm!