Car accidents are stressful enough. When you’re seriously injured and not sure what to do, the last thing you need is an insurance adjuster trying to deprive you of the damages you need to move forward. That’s why it’s important to be careful what you say to the insurance companies and know the one thing you should never do after a car crash.
Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators who often use tactics intended to minimize payouts. When you call the insurance company to report the crash, the adjuster may ask if you’d be willing to provide a statement for the record. This is called a “recorded statement.” If you hear this language, you should politely refuse and end the call as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the insurance adjuster won’t ask for a statement. If you pick up the phone and hear “this call may be recorded,” be extremely careful. Anything you say during that call may very well be used against you later on.
What’s the Harm?
The language you use when making a recorded statement needs to be precise. If you say the wrong thing, a relatively simple case could become a prolonged legal battle. That’s because recorded statements, once made, are extremely difficult to change.
For example, say you were t-boned at an intersection. You had a green light and the right of way. However, you make the mistake of telling the insurance adjuster that you “didn’t know they were there.” or that “you didn’t have time to react.” Armed with that recorded statement, the insurance company may reduce the settlement offer, claiming the crash could have been avoided if you had paid attention.
There is no benefit to making a recorded statement, and the insurance companies cannot force you to make a statement without your attorney present. Often, it’s best to simply report the crash in as few words as possible and hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the case on your behalf.
If you were hit and hurt in a car crash, we’re here to help. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer from Payne Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (713) 999-4801 or send us an email.