Can My Insurer Deny My Claim For Refusing To Do A Recorded Statement?
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jan 14, 2020 in Personal Injury
If you sustained an injury in a car accident, it is likely that the insurance company for the at-fault party will contact you at home to gather some information. While the adjuster may seem friendly and even genuinely concerned, it is important to remember that his or her priority is to protect the interests of the insurance company, not to help you obtain fair compensation through a quick settlement offer.
Our experienced Portland personal injury lawyers at Rizk Law explain why agreeing to provide a recorded statement can be a risky decision that could reduce the value of your claim.
Recorded Statements Are Not Mandatory
An insurance adjuster may try to trick you into giving a recorded statement by telling you that it will help to expedite your claim. If that does not convince you, he or she may try to use intimidation and tell you that the insurance company may not process the claim without your recorded statement. However, if you are filing a third-party claim, you are not required to submit a recorded statement.
The only time providing a recorded statement may be mandatory is if you are filing a claim through your own insurance provider – called a first-party claim. However, in circumstances where you may have to provide a recorded statement, you can always agree to provide it after you have spoken with your lawyer.
Our personal injury lawyers have extensive knowledge of the tricks that insurance companies use to attempt to reduce the value of an injury claim. We are prepared to manage all communication with insurers and other parties on your behalf. Additionally, we can guide you step-by-step on how to handle statements to insurers.
How a Recorded Statement Could Hurt Your Claim
The insurance adjuster is trained to ask a series of leading questions, often asking for the same information in various ways. This is typically how they attempt to trick you into giving different information or getting you to innocently say something that can be twisted to discredit your testimony later.
Having an attorney to speak to the insurance company on your behalf - or to prepare and guide you through any statements you may later have to provide - can help to protect the value of your claim. Remember, the insurance adjuster will be working to protect the interests of the insurance company.
Recorded statements can be used to devalue or deny your claim if you:
- Admit full or partial fault for the accident
- Forget to include an important detail
- Say something that gives the insurance adjuster information to use against you that he or she would not have otherwise been able to uncover
- Provide details that are later contradicted by other evidence
- Underestimate the extent of your injuries or the value of your claim
- Provide inaccurate information about your medical condition that is later used to devalue your claim
- Give incorrect information because you did not understand the question and this response is later used to lock you into an answer or cause others to question your credibility
- Say you were distracted, recently had an alcoholic drink or were tired
Insurance adjusters receive extensive training on taking recorded statements and how to ask misleading questions to get the answers they want. This is why it is important to talk to a lawyer before agreeing to give a recorded statement.
How an Attorney Can Help If You Already Gave a Statement
If an insurance company has already obtained a recorded statement from you, all is not lost. However, it is important that you speak with a qualified car accident lawyer so he or she can look for ways to mitigate any potential damage done to your claim.
At Rizk Law, we are prepared to fully investigate your claim and work to gather strong evidence on your behalf. We can also take over managing communication with the insurance company and guide you step by step on how to continue protecting the value of your claim from the insurance company.
Rizk Law provides a free consultation to discuss your potential claim and legal options. If you choose to move forward, we will charge no upfront fees.