When you are filing a claim with an insurance company, there are many instances where they may ask you to give a recorded statement. While it seems like the insurance company means well, these recorded statements can often be used against you. The claims adjuster’s job is to make sure they save the insurance company as much money as possible. If they can find a reason to minimize how much to pay you, or if they find a reason to deny your claim, they will.
With your own insurance company, you may be required to give a statement per the terms of your policy. Even if you have to give a recorded statement, there are still certain guidelines you will want to follow.
See If You Can Give a Statement Without Recording
Ask the claims adjuster if they have to record your statement. Pursuant to your insurance policy you have a duty to cooperate in the investigation of your claim. This includes giving your insurance company a statement if they ask you to. You are not required to give any other insurance company a statement. You can tell your insurance company that you would like to talk to your attorney before giving a statement.
Get An Attorney Involved
One of the best decisions you can make is to consult with a car accident lawyer before agreeing to give a statement to the insurance company. If they catch you on the phone before you speak with your attorney, simply advise the adjuster you need to call them back.
When you contact a lawyer, they will instruct you in how to answer questions so you do not incriminate yourself or make any statements that can be used against you. Our personal injury attorneys can listen to the facts of your case before you give a statement to the insurance adjuster.
Give Brief Answers
You do not want to go into any details about the questions they ask. The more details you give, the more likely you may inadvertently make a statement that weakens your case. If they ask you to go into more detail about your case, still try to keep your answers as brief as possible.
Avoid Discussing Injuries
In the heat of the moment after an accident, adrenaline takes over, and you might not realize you have been injured. This is why it is not a good idea to give a recorded statement to the insurance company on the same day as the accident. You need to give your body some time to recover to see if you have any injuries that appear 24 or 48 hours later.
You definitely want to see your primary care physician after an accident, even if you do not think you were injured. This provides the documentation needed for the claims adjuster and attorneys to verify your injuries from a reputable party.
Be Polite But Firm With the Adjusters
The adjuster is hoping to save the insurance company money. It will not help your cause to get into arguments or to be rude to the adjuster. If you have already hired an attorney, simply give them the contact information for your attorney, and let them speak on your behalf.
Your attorney will know how to speak with the insurance adjuster and how to avoid any pitfalls they will present to try to reduce the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will help you speak with your insurance company if they insist on you giving a recorded statement.
Don’t Sign Anything
The insurance company might try to get you to sign something before you have had an opportunity to read what it says. It is better to get your attorney to review any paperwork before you agree to sign on the dotted line.
Don’t Be In A Hurry
It is natural to want to move fast to get your life back to normal. If you’re paying for a rental vehicle because your car is at the body shop or is totaled, it makes sense to move fast because your life has been impacted.
The truth is that it is better to move slower. The insurance company already knows it is in their financial best interests to get you to close faster, as shorter claims tend to pay out less money. From a financial perspective, you do not want to resolve your claim with the insurance company until all the facts are investigated regarding your injuries and your damages, and this takes time.
Make the Smart Choice to Work With an Attorney
In many cases, speaking with a law firm before speaking with an insurance company is going to give you the most positive possible outcome in your case. Lawyers already know all the strategies the insurance companies employ to reduce their liability to pay out damages after a car accident.
Attorneys provide clients with added security when dealing with insurance companies, police departments, the opposing legal party, etc. Car accident attorneys have vast experience in dealing with all the insurance companies and Virginia jurisdictions and will make your claim go much more smoothly than if you try to do everything on your own.
Contact the law firm at Epperly & Follis, P.C. to speak with one of their personal injury representatives regarding your case.