To give or not to give?

So you have been in a car accident that is not your fault. After a day or twos, an insurance adjuster for the person who hit you calls you on the phone. The adjuster wants a recorded statement from you telling how the accident occurred. Should you?

Generally, you should not agree to give a recorded statement about a car accident to any insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney first. It also is not recommended to give an oral statement, either. The reason for this is easy to understand if you think of it from the insurance company’s perspective. The auto insurance company exists to make money for its investors. Every dollar it pays for a claim is a dollar less than the insurance company has for its bottom line. It is the job of all insurance companies to reduce what they pay in claims.

A recorded statement is a good way for the insurance company to reduce or deny your claim. Here is why:

  • The adjuster will compare the statement you give with any other statements you have made, such as what you told the police officer at the crash scene. If there is any inconsistency in what you have said, the company will try to argue you are not telling the truth.
  • Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a way that trick you into a response that damages your claim. They may try to bully you into agreeing with a statement that you do not agree with.
  • Adjusters may try to make you say something that makes it sound as if you remember less than you do. Before they start to record your statement, they may say things such as, the accident probably happened so fast, and you may not really remember what happened. Then you could make a statement after the recording starts that makes it sound like your memory is fuzzy.
  • The recorded statement can be used in a cross-examination against you in a trial. Any inconsistency at all can make you look like you are unreliable.

For these reasons, you should not give a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster unless you have talked to your attorney first.