Think Before You Speak: Recorded Statements And You
When you are injured as a result of another party's carelessness, you may be facing a stressful and confusing time right after the wreck. It's only understandable since you are dealing with the pain of physical injuries, the emotional trauma and shock, a wrecked vehicle and fear of the unknown. To make matter worse, you may find yourself the recipient of a phone call from the other side's insurance adjuster wanting you to speak on the record about the accident. Be very careful, because you might be making a huge mistake. Read on to learn what this phone call is all about and why you might want to refuse that request:
The purpose of the recorded statement
It happens when you are the most vulnerable, but if you understand more about what is prompting this call you will know what to do when it comes. No matter how nice and polite the caller for the at-fault driver's insurance company is, you must realize that they do not have your best interest at heart. Insurance companies don't exist to pay you money, they exist to make a profit, and when they have to pay off on claims they do everything they can to avoid paying even one cent more than they must.
Do I have to speak to them?
If the caller informs you that you are required to provide a recorded statement, they are being dishonest. You may, in some cases, be required by your own insurance company to provide them with a recorded statement. If so, speak with a personal injury attorney before you do so for some tips on how to proceed.
Why is speaking to the adjuster such a problem?
The adjuster, along with being very nice, could also dangle the possibility of a big settlement check in front of you if you agree to the recording. You should understand that this offer is likely quite a bit lower than what you are actually entitled to receive in the end. The adjuster, however, is counting on your agreement to give this statement without the benefit of the legal council because they know how to control the outcome of the call.
These adjusters are trained to ask questions in such a way that you may accidentally say something that could put your case in jeopardy. It only takes a whisper of doubt about who was at fault for them to clamp down on that settlement check. Below are just a few potential problems with agreeing to this recording:
- They ask open-ended questions and allow you to ramble on and on.
- They seem so sympathetic and distressed by your damages that you end up trying to reassure them.
- They ask the same questions repeatedly, each time phrased differently, in an effort to catch you being dishonest.
- They compare everything you say, to the letter, against other information, looking for any tiny discrepancy.
As you can see, it is far easier than you might have imagined to slip up and make a mistake. Speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to prevent this and to get the compensation you need and deserve.