Do Accident Victims Have To Give Recorded Statements?

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

There is no requirement that you have to give the insurance company a statement after your accident. Your insurance company will need to know what happened, but this can wait. Do not give them a statement until at least a few days after your accident or maybe even weeks or months.

Related: Is The Insurance Company Really My Friend?

Don't jump into it
You need to let time pass to see if you are injured or how serious your injuries really are. This will also give you a chance to collect your thoughts. Many times you will feel fine right after the accident. You may not feel any pain until the next morning or even several days later. If you give a statement immediately following the accident and state that you were not injured; this statement can damage and decrease the value of your case. Do not put yourself in this position.

Don't answer questions from adjusters right away
The at-fault party’s insurance company will call you and ask to take your statement or even call and just start asking you questions. They will be recording this statement. Do not give them a statement until you have an opportunity to speak with a personal injury attorney. An attorney will take a look at your case and advise you as to whether it is in your best interest to give a statement. In some circumstance it is okay to give a statement. The insurance adjuster must have the information from your statement in order to process your claim and make an offer on your case. In other situations you should not give a statement at all or you should wait.

Related: Questions To Ask Your Auto Insurance Agent

Prepare for the statement
Even though it might be a good idea to give a statement, you need to be prepared to give the statement. The adjuster takes statements on a daily basis. It's their job. Also, some adjusters try to trap you or trick you with their questions in hopes of decreasing the value of your accident case. Make sure you are prepared before you give a statement. Take the time to sit down with an attorney and feel comfortable with the process of giving a statement. Put yourself on a level playing field. Anything you say can be used against you at a later time if a lawsuit is filed. If you say something different in a deposition or at trial, the insurance company's attorney will bring up the inconsistent statement you gave the adjuster. Don’t fall for this trap.