FAQ: Should I Provide a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company?

Texas injury lawyer discuses whether or not you should give a recorded statement to the insurance company.I often get calls from people who have been in an accident, and frequently they call because the other driver’s insurance company wants to record a statement, and they are not sure whether or not they should provide a recorded statement. Whether or not to provide a recorded statement is one of the most frequently asked questions I get, and the answer is important as well, which is why I decided to write this article to help shed light on recorded statements.

Oh, and the answer to the question of whether or not you should give a recorded statement: NO! You should not! Read on and I’ll tell you exactly why.

To clarify, there is really only one circumstance when we advise our clients to offer a recorded statement, which is when your own insurance company is asking for a statement. Generally speaking, cooperating with your own insurance company is something you should strive to do. However, cooperating with the other driver’s insurance company is a different story.   There is really no legitimate reason to offer a statement, recorded or otherwise, to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, there are many reason’s not to. The benefits to providing a statement are negligible, but the drawbacks and pitfalls can be devastating.

Insurance companies make money by denying claims, or reducing their value as much as possible. Therefore, to reduce the claims they pay, insurance companies must deny claims, either in whole or in part. To do this, insurance adjusters will look for reasons to either deny, or devalue any insurance claim they can. A recorded statement provides the insurance company with a lot of information, much of which they will try to use against you to deny or devalue your claim.

Basically, there are three important things you need to understand about providing recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance company:

  1. Inconsistent Statements. It is not at all uncommon for there to be minor inconsistencies in a person’s story over time. For example, the information a person relays to the police immediately following an accident is probably going to be a little different than if the person tried to relate what happened several days, or weeks later. This is very common, and should be expected. Insurance adjusters know this, and they will grasp on to seemingly minor, and irrelevant inconsistencies between your recorded statement and the statement you gave to police or investigators. While these inconsistencies may be very minor, and inconsequential, the insurance company will claim that you are not telling the truth, and will either deny your claim, or will greatly reduce their valuation of your claim. The insurance companies know that these inconsistencies are not “lies,” per se, but they will nevertheless fixate on them in order to rationalize, and justify their failure to pay fair value for your injuries.
  1. Entrapment. Insurance company adjusters are provided with extensive training in regard to conducting recorded statements. They are trained to ask questions in such a way that it becomes easy for them to trap, or trick, you into giving a response that will hurt your claim. In fact, they are often good enough at this technique that you may not even realize it is happening. Additionally, they may try to push you into a corner, or bully you into agreeing to facts that you aren’t certain of, or can’t remember. They will often ask questions in a way that makes it easy for you to say, “I guess so,” or “I suppose so,” etc. Unfortunately, the response “I guess so” will almost certainly come back to haunt you later, and will be used against you to either deny or devalue your claim.
  1. Cross-Examination at Trial. If a lawsuit needs to be filed in your case, which is becoming more and more common due to the greed and illegitimate gamesmanship employed by the insurance companies now days, your recorded statement can be used to make you look like a liar, and destroy your credibility. Even though you will tell the truth at trial, it is easy for a skilled defense attorney to use recorded statements you made months, and in some cases years, ago to make it look like you aren’t being truthful. This is because it’s often difficult for you to remember every little detail about the accident, and even seemingly minor inconsistencies can be harmful to you case in the hands of a skilled attorney during cross-examination.

Will Giving a Recorded Statement Help My Case?

No. But this won’t stop an adjuster from telling you that providing a statement will help your case. If the adjuster tells you this, he or she is not telling you the truth.

The bottom line is that it is almost never in your best interest to provide a recorded or written statement to an opposing insurance company.  The insurance company may tell you that you MUST give them a statement, or that a statement is required before they can process your claim – these statements are NOT TRUE. There is currently not a single state in the U.S. that requires a person to provide a recorded statement to an opposing insurance company.   In some states, however, there may be a requirement to cooperate with your OWN insurance company, which you should do anyhow.

If you have been involved in an accident, and have questions about how to deal with the insurance company, we would be happy to answer your questions for you. We offer a FREE consultation with an experienced injury attorney. You can request a consultation on our website, or by calling (210) 593-8709.

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San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer