When an insurance company processes a claim, it assigns someone called an insurance claims adjuster to evaluate the merits of the claim and investigate the accident. Part of the investigative process is to try to obtain a recorded statement from the claimant over the phone. It is critical not to give a recorded statement to an insurance company, however. This is one of many tactics the insurance adjuster may use to try to take advantage of you.
What Is the Insurance Company’s Reason for Requesting a Recorded Statement?
An insurance adjuster’s goal is to save the insurance company money by convincing clients to settle for as little as possible. Insurance adjusters have years of training and experience in talking to clients. One strategy commonly used to gain information the insurance company can twist around to use against a client is requesting a recorded statement early on.
Insurance companies know that accident victims are often hurt, in pain, disoriented, confused and upset immediately following their accidents. It is no coincidence that this is when an insurance claims adjuster chooses to contact a victim. In asking for a recorded statement early on, the claims adjuster hopes to catch the victim in a time when he or she is vulnerable and does not fully understand the facts of the case.
Later, after an investigation obtains more information about the accident, the insurance company can try to use your recorded statement to show that the information you gave does not match the facts of the case. If you didn’t think you were injured when you gave your statement, for example, but later discovered hidden injuries, the insurance company could use your statement to argue that the accident did not injure you, or that you are an unreliable witness.
Do You Have to Give a Recorded Statement?
No, you do not have to give a recorded statement – nor should you. Insurance laws in Texas do not require you to consent to give the insurance claims adjuster a recorded statement about the accident. Do not give in to pressure from the claims adjuster, such as the adjuster saying that he or she cannot process your claim unless you consent to give a recorded statement. This is not true. If the adjuster seems friendly and persuasive, remind yourself that this is his or her job, and that the adjuster does not have your best interests in mind.
What to Do Instead of Giving a Recorded Statement
If you get asked by an insurance adjuster to give a recorded statement during an auto accident case or a different type of personal injury insurance claim, politely answer the request by saying that you do not consent to the adjuster recording you and that you will submit a written statement at a later date instead after you have consulted with an attorney.
You have the legal right to postpone this part of your claim until after you have seen a doctor, spoken to a lawyer and better understand your rights. You also have the right to hire a car accident attorney to handle conversations with the claims adjuster for you. An attorney will know exactly what to say and what not to say to protect your right to recover.
How Can a Lawyer Help With the Recorded Statement?
If you consult with a personal injury lawyer instead of agreeing to give the insurance company a recorded statement, you benefit from receiving advice from someone you can trust. Unlike an insurance company, your lawyer will want to maximize your financial compensation. A lawyer can help you with every aspect of your injury claim, including answering the insurance adjuster’s questions on your behalf and helping you submit a written statement that adequately protects your legal rights.
For more information about how a lawyer can help you with the insurance process, including providing a recorded insurance statement, contact an attorney at The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert for a free consultation.