If you have been involved in an auto accident, whether it be with a passenger car, a truck, a bicycle, or even a pedicab, you may have sustained property damage, medical expenses, and other out of pocket costs. We are of the belief that you should speak with a personal injury lawyer before speaking to an insurance company. However, you may have decided against it. Or it may be that you already spoke with a couple of lawyers who said they could not help you. In any event, if you have decided to make a claim on either you own insurance company or someone else’s insurance, you are likely to be requested to provide a recorded statement. If it is your own insurance company, ask the adjuster if you are required under the policy to give a recorded statement.
Never give a recorded statement if you can avoid it. It could be used against you later. Why? Because if you think about it, insurance companies do not increase their financial health by paying out claims. Their claims handlers are typically experienced folks who have been trained to spot areas in your statement that may be easy to attack. Think about the following situation: you are driving down the road, listening to your favorite radio station, when someone runs a red light and t-bones your vehicle. You are asked to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. You do your best to be truthful and accurate, and disclose that you were listening to the radio. The adjuster may try to imply that you were distracted and could have avoided the cash, even though you share no fault in the wreck.
Think about this other example: you are involved in a wreck. The other person takes off before providing their insurance information, and since you have the appropriate coverage, you make a claim on your insurance. At the scene of the accident, you decline an ambulance because you do not feel injured. You give a recorded statement to your insurance company. You tell the adjuster, truthfully, that you do not feel like you were injured. A couple of days later, you cannot get out of bed. Your entire body is sore and you know that nothing else contributed to this pain and discomfort other than the crash. It is almost guaranteed that the adjuster has already evaluated the claim based on your statement, as a minor claim with no injuries.
Now, if the insurance company for the other person wants a recorded statement, and again, for whatever reason you have decided not to hire a personal injury lawyer, you should avoid giving a statement at all. You are not that insurance company’s customer and you do no pay monthly premiums. Therefore, there is even less incentive to help you reduce your damages. However, sometimes the insurance company will not make a determination of whether or not they will pay your claim without a recorded statement from you. Only in the event that you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer, do we advise you give a statement if absolutely necessary.
Avoid Saying This to The Insurance Company
When speaking with any insurance company:
- Do not give a recorded statement if you can avoid it;
TIP: If the police arrived at the scene, try to obtain a copy of the police report at the police station and provide it to the insurance company, if possible, instead of a statement;
- Do not guess anything—if you do not know or do not recall the answer, that is what the answer is! Particularly, do not guess the speed you were traveling.
- Do not say you are not hurt—injuries take time to appear in many cases.
- Do not admit fault or apologize. The insurance company adjuster is not a judge or a jury.
- Do not accept or reject a settlement offer before consulting with a personal injury lawyer.
A rule of thumb: stick to the hard facts. No matter how many times you are asked a question, if your response was truthful the first time, then stick with it. If you do not recall, then that is the answer. If you do not know, then that is the answer.
Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in Austin
Keep these six things in mind to help you to maximize your compensation for damages you suffered. Additionally, hire an auto accident attorney to receive fair compensation for your losses.
An auto accident attorney has the knowledge and experience to help you determine whether or not your insurance company’s offer is fair in your type of case. To speak with an auto accident attorney in Austin, Texas. Call Pastrana & Garcia Law Firm at 512-474-4487.