Recorded Statements And Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been recently injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may soon be receiving a phone call from the other party's insurance company. You strive to be an honest person and feel that you have nothing to hide, but are wary of agreeing to speak on the record about your accident. The caller is extremely polite and personable, and makes you feel comfortable with her reassurances that the recorded statement is "just a formality" before they cut you a big check for your losses as a result of the accident. You may be tempted to go ahead and give the statement, but that would be extremely unwise. Read on for more information about giving recorded statements to the insurance company.
What could go wrong if you give a statement?
Firstly, understand that the insurance company, even your own insurance company, is a for-profit entity with an obligation to its shareholders to make a profit. You may argue that they are already making a profit simply due to the nature of insurance; that you and other people pay into the fund every month for years on end and seldom, if ever, take anything back from that fund. While that may appear to be the case, you can rest assured that the person on the other end of that phone call to you has one major motivation; to cajole you into saying something that will be used to reduce their liability for the accident.
One major issue with giving statements is that you can never really say the exact same thing the same way every single time. You will no doubt recount your accident to friends, family, medical personnel, and others. With each telling, you remember or forget certain details, which is simply human nature and completely normal. The insurance company knows all about this tendency and will capitalize upon it by using your recorded statement to accuse you of lying or being inconsistent when they compare your statement with other statements such as:
- What you said to the other driver at the scene.
- What you said to any witnesses at the scene.
- What you said to the ambulance driver and any of the several medical personnel you'll come in contact with at the hospital.
- What you said to your own insurance company (more about this later).
- What you said at a deposition, if you file suit.
What About Your Own Insurance Company?
You are likely required to give a recorded statement to your own insurance company. You can help yourself immeasurably by preparing a summary of the accident beforehand to assist you. Be careful in your answers and don't answer leading questions. State the facts only, and don't volunteer any information.
You could be denied your claim entirely, or your claim amount may be reduced drastically if the statements you give for your personal injury claim do not match up perfectly. Retaining the services of a personal injury attorney like one from Kuzyk Law is vital at this time to help you through the claims process and to go to court if necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.