09 Feb Do You Need to Provide a Recorded Statement For an Auto Accident Claim?
One of the most frequently brought up subjects in an initial Florida personal injury consultation is the recorded statement. If you have already provided a recorded statement, it is still possible to proceed with a personal injury claim. However, if you have not provided a recorded statement, it is in your best interests not to.
People involved in an accident have an obligation to report an incident to the insurance company that they will be making a claim to. This is required, and a claim cannot be made without reporting the accident. However, after the pertinent details are relayed, insurance adjusters often request a recorded statement. Often this is described as a housekeeping task of “confirming details” or “getting some information” and many people mistakenly believe that providing a recorded statement is part of the claims process and required. Insurance adjusters may say that your claim can be processed faster (and you get paid faster) if you can provide some information to confirm their policyholder was at fault. If you were clearly not at fault, this may seem harmless. Proceed with extreme caution.
The recorded statement is not required, and it is almost always advisable to NOT provide a recorded statement, or answer questions that the adjuster says will be recorded. The reasoning for this is similar to why an innocent person should not sit down for a police interview. You may have the best of intentions and be completely innocent, but the party looking for information is looking out for any evidence that helps them, even if it just casts a shadow of a doubt. Insurance adjusters are compensated based on paying out as little as possible for claims. There is no benefit to offering up a voluntary statement.
Things you offer in a statement can be taken out of context or used to raise doubt or questions. You may be asked questions like:
- How far away was the car when you first saw it?
- Have you ever looked at your cell phone when driving?
- Did you have pain right after the accident?
- Have you ever had pain in your neck before?
- Have you ever sought treatment for pain before?
- Have you ever taken over the counter or prescription medications for pain?
It is almost impossible to accurately answer questions about distance or time. If you are wildly inaccurate, the adjuster may use this to raise doubt about your credibility. Almost everyone has looked at their phone in their car at one point or another. Even if you were following every vehicle code and safely operating your vehicle, an admission that you’ve looked at a text message in your vehicle before may be used to suggest you were distracted, which led to the accident. Once you make a recorded statement, you cannot retract it. If the insurance company calls you about your claim, be careful about what you say. You can decline to make a recorded statement and offer to answer written questions instead. Once you have an attorney, all communications about your claim. can be directed through your lawyer.
Get a Free Consultation with a Polk County Personal Injury Lawyer
Sara Jones Law, P.A. is available to help you after a car accident in Florida. Our Polk County personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to answer your questions and explain your legal options to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. If we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Contact us today to discuss your case.