If you recently suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident, you may have received a call or visit from an insurance claims adjuster. This adjuster may tell you that he or she wants to receive a recorded statement from you about the accident. He or she may claim that the company wants to settle your case as soon as possible to help you recover.
Why Do Insurance Adjusters Want Recorded Statements?
Insurance companies typically ask for a recorded statement after a semi-truck accident because they want to know what your version of events is leading up to the accident. The adjuster will use the statement you give to them, as well as the at-fault driver’s statement, to build a picture of your claim. However, information gathering is not the only reason that the insurance adjuster wants to record your statement.
Insurance companies often try to solicit a recorded statement from you soon after your accident because you may not know all of the details of your accident. They will use this recorded statement as concrete evidence against you if your case goes to trial – even if you say something you believe is true at that moment and find out more information later, the insurance company can use the statement to discredit you.
Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement Before Speaking to Your Attorney
If an insurance adjuster approaches you after your accident asking for a recorded statement, do not speak with him or her before contacting a Bakersfield truck accident attorney. The adjuster may make it seem like the company requires you to provide this statement in order to progress in your claim, but this is not true.
You are not required to give a recorded statement to the truck driver’s insurance company. Since you are filing a third-party claim, the company cannot require you to make a statement. If you were filing a claim with your own company, you would have to give a statement. In the majority of semi-truck accident cases, however, you are making a third-party claim.
Insurance adjusters can be very tricky. They can often ask you misleading questions to try and confuse you or say something that the company can use against you as evidence later on. As a result, you can see a lower compensation amount at the end of your claim or the courts could reduce the truck driver’s liability in your claim.
Tips for Giving a Recorded Statement
You should not give a recorded statement to an insurance company until after you have had a chance to speak with your attorney. The adjuster cannot require you to give a recorded statement. However, insurance adjusters can use aggressive tactics to obtain these recordings. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to give a recorded statement, follow these tips to protect your claim.
- Request that the insurance adjuster does not record the conversation. This makes it harder for the company to use your words against you in court because the evidence is not concrete.
- Give succinct, to-the-point answers. Always answer slowly and clearly, and do not ramble.
- If you don’t know the exact answer to the question, do not guess. Simply say “I don’t know” or “I don’t know the facts yet.”
- Do not admit to any type of fault. Even if you think you may be partially liable at that point, admitting fault could reduce your claim significantly.
- Do not accept a settlement from the insurance adjuster. The amount will likely be much lower than what you actually need to recover.
- Do not volunteer information to the insurance adjuster. Only give answers to the questions he or she asks of you.
Remember, you do not have to give a recorded statement to an insurance company in a truck accident case. Be careful with what you tell the insurance adjuster and avoid giving any information about your injuries or the circumstances of your accident early on in your claim. Always contact your attorney before you speak to the insurance adjuster. Contact Rodriguez & Associates today.