You have just been in a motor vehicle accident and before you get home from the scene, the other driver’s insurance company has already left you a message urging you to call back as they must talk to you. You call and they tell you they need your recorded statement before they can take care of your property damage and put you in a rental car. They may even tell you that if you refuse to cooperate, they will close your file! You need a temporary replacement vehicle and you need your vehicle repaired, so you reluctantly give in. In the recording you are asked many more questions than just your version of how the accident occurred.
Six months later you are attempting to settle your bodily injury claim and the adverse insurance adjuster refers you to your recorded statement and reminds you that you never told him you had neck pain. In fact, you may have told him that you weren’t injured (as the pain had not yet set in). He denies your claim or only agrees to pay you pennies on the dollar.
You are under absolutely no obligation to give a recorded statement to an adverse insurance carrier. Furthermore, little good ever comes from cooperating with the insurance carrier. Remember that the adjuster can learn of the facts of the accident from his own insured, from any witnesses to the accident and even from reading the police accident report. His desire to record you is so he can limit the financial exposure his company may have to you. Go ahead and let him close the file as that is an empty threat that means nothing. Rest assured that he will reopen it when your attorney calls him.
Your obligation to give a recorded statement to your own auto insurance company is different. Everyone has a duty to cooperate with their own carrier. It can, however, be just as dangerous to give a recorded statement as you may actually be in an adversarial relationship with your own carrier if the other driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your damages. Thus, they may use your statement to limit their financial exposure to you as well. By hiring an attorney, that attorney will prepare you for this statement and be present with you while the statement is taking place.
Make sure you are not giving out information that you are not obligated to offer. Also, if you do have a duty to cooperate, then make sure you are adequately prepared and represented.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Select Law. With our extensive experience in the legal field, we know what it takes to win your case. Call us at (425) 891-6691 to arrange your FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced attorney (in person, phone, zoom or your residence/hospital)
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