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Should I give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Adjuster after an Auto Accident?

If you’ve been in automobile accident, It’s important at this stage to consider carefully whether you want to give a recorded statement. I always have found recorded statements to be particularly galling. Even the police have to tell you that they’re going to use anything you say against you in a court of law. The liability insurance adjuster (other driver’s insurance adjuster) calls you up and tells you, “hey I’m your buddy, I’m going to take care of your case for you. Let me turn on this tape recorder and get your version of what happened”. That sounds pretty innocuous. It sounds like you could not harm your case at all by talking with this nice lady or gentleman. The truth is you can destroy your case with a poorly chosen answer during a recorded statement.

If you don’t say anything that hurts your case during your statement, you’ll never hear about the recorded statement again. If you say something that damages or eliminates your right to recover or your chances of prevailing at trial, you will never hear about anything other than that statement. In general, recorded statements are not at all required for the adjuster to make a determination of liability, especially where the facts are pretty clear. The recorded statement is an opportunity to get you on tape admitting that you had some role in causing the accident or that you were feeling pretty good after the accident or that you had injured yourself prior to the accident at some previous time. It’s basically a “fishing expedition” for the adjuster to find out things that can hurt your claim.

Note: Let me say right now that I have nothing against insurance adjusters. Most of them are nice, law abiding, family-oriented people. I myself have adjusted claims for insurance companies. They are not evil or scheming but they do have a job to do. That job is to pay you as little money as they possibly can. Their job is to lower or eliminate the cost of your claim for the insurance company. To the company, your claim is a business transaction, pure and simple.

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