After a car accident, all of the insurance companies involved, usually two, will investigate and settle all claims. The more serious the accident, the more thorough this investigation is likely to be.
In some cases, the other side’s insurance company may ask for a recorded statement from a person who was injured in a car accident. The insurance company may ask questions about what happened or what the extent of the victim’s injuries are.
Recorded statements can be used against an accident victim
This might all sound routine enough, but the problem is that a recorded statement can later be used to discredit a victim if she later expands or wants to amend her story.
In some cases, the statement itself may even be used as evidence in a later trial or deposition, both of which may be necessary if an insurance company is not willing to pay the compensation the victim requires.
Since most people are trying to tell the truth, giving a statement may not seem like a big deal. The problem is that usually the person asking the question is highly trained in accident investigations and is loyal to the insurance company.
The victim, on the other hand, probably has little to no experience in giving formal statements. They can easily make mistakes or answer a question in a way that diminishes the value of a valid claim.
If one’s own insurance company is asking for a statement, it is probably a good idea to be familiar with the policy’s language since many policies do include language requiring a customer to cooperate with a claim investigation.
A victim has no such relationship with the other driver insurance company.
Our firm’s recommended rule of thumb is not to give a recorded statement; instead, a victim should speak to a personal injury attorney first about his claim.