One of the most common mistakes after an auto accident is to give a recorded statement to the other party's insurance company, warns a California injury attorney.
After an auto accident, one of the first people you will probably hear from will be the other party’s insurance adjuster. One of the first questions he or she will ask is if you will give a recorded statement. Complying with this request, however, could significantly jeopardize your accident claim, explains a California injury attorney.
The only reason an insurance company would want a recorded statement from you is so that it can use it against you at a later date. The primary objective of the adjuster is to minimize the amount of compensation the company must pay out. The first conversation the adjuster has with you is his or her opportunity to collect as much information about the accident and your injuries as possible before you have had a chance to consult with an attorney, seek medical attention, or even realize the extent of your injuries—information that is much more valuable if recorded.
Days may pass before you even notice your injuries after the accident. Moreover, a diagnosis from a medical professional is necessary to fully understand your condition. At this point, you are not informed enough about your injuries to be answering questions that could serve as evidence against you in a courtroom.
In addition, you should understand your rights and options before discussing the accident. You may want to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney prior to answering any of the insurance adjuster’s questions. If you decide to give a recorded statement, you should do so with the protection of an attorney, as the adjuster’s questions may be vague or misleading. The attorney will listen to the questions to ensure that they are fair, asking for clarification when necessary, and advising you how best to convey your answers.
In the event that you are asked for a recorded statement after the accident, which will most certainly happen, decline the request. You may offer to discuss the accident off the record and allow the agent to take notes; however, never give a recorded statement. Unlike the former two options, a recorded statement is admissible in court.
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