What should you do if the negligent driver’s insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement? Here’s why you should never agree.

Should I agree to give a recorded statement to the negligent driver’s insurance company?

 

A:

When a negligent driver causes you to suffer injuries in a car accident in the Seattle area, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim and he may call you within a few days of your wreck. However, you need to keep in mind that he works for the other driver’s insurance company and may be looking for ways to deny or reduce your claim. Because of this, you need to be extremely cautious about what you say, and never agree to give a recorded statement.

Recorded Statements: A Trap for Unwary Car Accident Victims

A recorded statement is a question-and-answer session between you and the insurance adjuster that is recorded and later transcribed into a written document. While you may genuinely have nothing to hide, agreeing to give a recorded statement could damage the value of your claim—even when the other driver was clearly negligent. Here are ways that the insurance adjuster might use your statements to reduce or deny your claim:

  • The insurance adjuster will compare the recorded statement to what you say to the police, your doctor, or in a deposition. He will use any inconsistent statements to challenge your credibility and may even claim that you were not truthful. If the inconsistency is serious enough, it could result in you having to accept less in your settlement.
  • The insurance adjuster most likely has years of experience taking recorded statements. He may ask confusing questions or attempt to elicit an answer from you that you do not really mean. You could inadvertently say something harmful even when you are being careful in your answers.
  • Your statements can be used against you in settlement negotiations and in court if you must file a lawsuit. For example, the attorney for the insurance company could use the recorded statement when cross-examining you at your trial.

How should you handle a request to give a recorded statement? You should politely refuse and inform the insurance adjuster that you will have your attorney contact him. Then you should leave all further communications with the insurance company to your experienced car accident attorney.

Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident? Our experienced legal team is here to help you seek the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver and his insurance company. We encourage you to contact us right away—even if you already gave a recorded statement. Fill out our online form or call our office to schedule your free consultation.