You've recently been in an auto accident that wasn't your fault. Shortly after you call to report the accident, a friendly insurance adjustor reaches you by phone and asks you for a statement -- on record. The other driver was cited, and it's clear that you're injured. So, what could possibly go wrong?
You absolutely cannot forget that insurance company adjusters get paid to reduce the company's liability. They don't stay in their jobs very long if they aren't good at it. An adjustor's pleasant, concerned demeanor is often a facade designed to get injury victims to trust them and "open up." (After all, an aggressive-sounding adjuster might put your guard up and make you remember that they're doing a job.)
Here's what an insurance company may try to do with your recorded statement:
- Make you sound confused. An adjuster might say something like, "I imagine the accident happened very fast. It might be hard to remember." If you agree, you're admitting that the details of the accident might be vague in your mind -- a fact the insurance company can exploit.
- Goad you into making a statement that's against your interests. For example, a simple, "How are you feeling?" can provoke someone to reply -- virtually automatically -- "Oh, fine. How are you?" in return. What you see as a casual pleasantry, however, they see as "proof" that you aren't injured.
- Compare it against any other statements you've made. Every word you say will be scrutinized against whatever you've told the police on the scene, witnesses, or doctors. Even tiny inconsistencies can be used to discredit your injury claims.
Generally speaking, it's always wise to have an attorney's advice before you give any insurance company a recorded statement after a car accident. That's the best way to protect your future interests. For more information, please explore our site or contact our office.