It may be common to give a recorded statement in a car accident case, but is it required?
There is no law that requires an injured person to give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the driver who is potentially at fault. (You do, however, have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company.)
So, if you are not required to give a recorded statement by law, should you let the potentially “at-fault” driver’s insurance company record your statement when they call you and ask if they can record what you say?
It’s Not a Normal Conversation
Although the insurance company adjusters may be friendly and nice on the phone, don’t be fooled. This is not a normal conversation. While you may be just an honest, ordinary person just trying to explain what happened, the insurance adjuster is not. Insurance adjusters are old pros at taking recorded statements. And their focus is not to get at the “truth” of what happened; it is to find some way to use what you say to make the accident more likely to have been either wholly or partially your own fault.
Another reason not to agree to a recorded statement is that the statement is being recorded. Everything you say will be “set in stone” so to speak and you can’t take it back, change it or explain it later. The normal consequence of this is that whatever you say can, and probably will be “used against you” in a later legal proceeding. It does not matter that the statement is not taken under oath. It is still your statement (i.e., a party’s statement or the statement of a party opponent). As a result, it can be used against you in your later claim or litigation.
It also isn’t a good idea to give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurer because very often immediately after an accident you will be badly shaken up. You might even be in pain. This means that you may not be thinking clearly. Also, many times people don’t recall everything immediately after the accident.
Your Recorded Statement Won’t Help Your Case
Giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster for the “at-fault” party (again, you do need to cooperate with your own insurance company and may need to give them a recorded statement) will not help your personal injury case. That’s because:
- the insurance adjuster will probably put you on the spot when he talks to you,
- the questions will be “loaded questions,”
- you won’t have time to make a considered statement, and
- you will not have the benefit of legal counsel when you give your statement.
Because of all of this, the most likely thing to happen is that your recorded statement will get your claim denied.
Get The Help You Need. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact us. We are experienced car accident and personal injury attorneys. We offer FREE consultations and we don’t get paid unless you win. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. Call (225) 465-1232 ToDay to schedule your free consultation or email us.