SHOULD I GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY?
As a personal injury attorney one of the questions that I get most often from people is, “I’ve been in a wreck, should I give a statement to the other insurance company?” I typically discourage individuals from giving recorded statements to the adverse insurance company. I think of the request for a recorded statement in the same light as the criminal context, when the police give you the Miranda warnings. Everybody has heard it, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. I think the same thing applies generally in this context. Many times, an insurance adjuster will contact you following a wreck and attempt to get a recorded statement. At the time, the recorded statement seems pretty simple and straightforward. However, as the claim or lawsuit proceeds, many times statements that are made are taken out of context. Statements that are made are used to suggest that you perhaps are at fault for the wreck yourself. Suggestions are also made at times after a recorded statement that you weren’t really injured or that you weren’t injured to the extent that you claimed. For instance, somebody might make the comment, “I’m fine” and that statement alone will be used to suggest that you weren’t really injured when the comment, “I’m fine” simply meant I’m able to get up and walk and talk. In most cases I typically discourage people from giving recorded statements to insurance companies. You are under no obligation to give a statement to the adverse insurance company. The insurance company should have a copy of the police report and any accompanying materials. So, they should have what they need to evaluate what happened in the wreck. In the event that you have been injured in a car wreck and the other insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement, I would encourage you to speak with a lawyer before doing so. That lawyer can provide you with recommendations and advice in the event that a recorded statement is appropriate.