After you get into an auto accident, the process of handling your claim with the insurance companies begins. This can be an overwhelming process, with the insurance companies calling you non-stop asking various questions and wanting recorded statements. Questions people often wonder are: Should I give the insurance companies my recorded statement? What if it’s my own insurance company wanting a recorded statement? Will the insurance company use my statement against me? These are all great questions that will be addressed below.
WHAT IS A RECORDED STATEMENT?
When you get in an auto accident, it is very common for all insurance companies involved to want your recorded statement. Insurance companies use recorded statements as a way to collect information from you or the other party about the accident to further assist the insurance company with the claim. That is important to remember. The statements are for the insurance company and often only serve to benefit the insurance company. Just as it says in the name, these statements are recorded so the insurance companies can reference them at anytime and use them when needed. These statements are recorded with your permission. Every company will ask your permission in the beginning of the statement to record. A copy of your statement will generally be provided to you from the insurance upon your request.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT?
The best answer to this question is, it depends. If it is the other party’s insurance company, you have no obligation to that company. You did not sign a contract with them like you did with your own insurance company. Therefore, if the other party’s insurance is requesting your recorded statement, you do not have to give it to them. With that being said, should you give the other insurance company your recorded statement? That also depends. Sometimes it may help your case to provide a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance. If there are liability issues, insurance companies will want to take your recorded statement to hear your side of the story. Insurance companies use these statements as a form of evidence to determine who they believe is at-fault for an accident. What you say in these statements can be used against you in your claim. Therefore, it would be suggested to discuss with your attorney whether or not they believe it would be in your best interest to provide a recorded statement.
In contrast, if it is your own insurance company wanting a recorded statement, you are required to provide them with your statement. When you signed your contract with your insurance company, they most likely included a clause that requires you to cooperate with their investigation of a claim. A recorded statement is apart of the insurance company’s investigation of your claim. Most insurance contracts also hold that if you fail to cooperate and provide your recorded statement, they reserve the right to cancel your policy. Having a cancelled insurance policy is nothing you want on your insurance record. Therefore, whether it’s in your favor or not, you will always have to provide your statement to your insurance company.
WHY DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO HELP WITH MY RECORDED STATEMENT?
Having an attorney to assist you through the recorded statement process is extremely important. Personal Injury Lawyers are very experienced with handling recorded statements, and have been apart of hundreds if not thousands of statements themselves. Your attorney cannot do the statement for you, but they can clarify, elaborate and sometimes potentially add to the statement as it’s occuring. Most lawyers or their paralegals will be apart of the recorded statement listening in the background to make sure everything is going well. Additionally, your lawyer should prepare you for the statement ahead of time. The preparation you receive before the statement from your lawyer can be extremely helpful and beneficial to your claim, depending on your situation.
For assistance with your recorded statement and personal injury claim, call the Mantia Law Firm at 407-722-7727 for a free consultation.