SHOULD I GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER?
According to a Martindale-Nolo Research 2017 personal injury study, about 70% of respondents received a payout or settlement for their injury claims. When injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, you may be eligible to recover damages by filing a personal injury claim. Within days of filing your insurance claim, an insurance adjuster will call you, requesting that you give a recorded statement.
Generally, giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster before consulting with an attorney is a bad idea. At the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, we have devoted our careers to handling personal injury cases and protecting the rights of accident victims and their families. We are available to discuss your unique situation and enlighten you about what could go wrong if you provide a recorded statement to the claims adjuster.
As experienced New York State personal injury lawyers, we can offer you the vigorous representation you need in your injury claims and help you negotiate fair compensation with the insurance company. The Law Office of Steven R. Smith is proud to serve clients throughout New York and Long Island, including Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, and New Hyde Park.
Insurance Adjuster's Role
An insurance adjuster is usually called upon to investigate, review claims, and determine the extent of the insurance provider's liability. In order to settle personal injury claims, the insurance adjuster will evaluate the surrounding facts of the case and determine the fair settlement amount for any injuries, property damages, or losses suffered by the accident victims.
Some other names for insurance adjusters include claims adjusters, claims specialists, claims agents, or independent claims analysts. Below are some of their roles and duties:
Investigate, evaluate, and settle insurance claims
Review the insurance policy and determine whether it covers the loss
Evaluate the injuries, damages, and losses suffered by accident victims
Speak with the plaintiff and other witnesses to determine the deserved compensation
Negotiate a fair settlement with the plaintiffs, their attorney, or legal representatives
Deny false or fraudulent claims
Ensure all injury claims are transparent and valid
Determine the fair settlement amount that will be paid by the insurer to the claimant
Meet with the claimants' employer or doctors to uncover fraudulent claims
Approve settlement amounts and ensure that claimants receive full compensation
Work together with personal injury attorneys on injury claims, if necessary
Refer the injury claims to a private investigator, if necessary
While performing their duties, the claims adjuster may inspect your home, business, and property. They may also call to interview you and other witnesses, as well as make requests for recorded statements. When the insurance company’s claims adjuster calls you, you should be careful of what you say.
Requests for a Statement
A few days after filing your injury claims, you should expect a claims specialist to call you. The insurance adjuster may request a recorded statement, inquiring about the details of the accident. Generally, it is never advisable to speak with a claims adjuster without consulting with your lawyer. Unknown to you, the claims adjuster may:
Interpret your statement in a different way
Take your words out of context
Use your statement against you in court or during negotiations
Use your statement to devalue your claims or reduce your compensation
Ask contradictory questions, thereby creating inconsistencies in your statements
Unfortunately, any of these may hurt the outcome of your personal injury claims inadvertently. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can educate you about the information you may be asked to provide and what you can say to the insurance adjuster.
What to Say If You Choose to Give a Statement
In most cases, you're not under any legal obligation to give a statement to another insurance company or claims adjuster. However, if you choose otherwise, you need to remember the following:
Ask the adjuster to not record your statements or conversation.
Keep your conversation or statement brief and precise.
Never admit guilt.
Only answer questions that you are confident and sure of.
Do not provide additional information that you weren't asked about.
Do not sign any document without your lawyer's approval.
To not fall victim to their tricky questions or make a statement that can unintentionally hurt your case, you can politely say, “No.”
What Information Will They Ask Me to Provide?
When the insurance adjuster calls you, here are some things that they may ask you:
Personal details such as your full name, address, phone number, insurance information, and employer
Details of the physical injuries, property damages, and other losses suffered
Identities of witnesses and statements made by them
Your personal account of the incident, including where and how it happened, types of cars involved, the type of accident, and who was responsible for the crash
Accident scene pictures
Information about your medical expenses, doctor's appointments, medical records, radiologist's reports, and other additional medical records relating to your injury case
Independent medical examinations (IME)
An experienced lawyer can help protect your best interests and deal with the tricky questions the insurance adjuster might ask.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
For more than 30 years, we have been providing experienced legal counsel and compassionate representation to clients in their injury claims. As your legal counsel, we will review all of the facts of your case, gather all necessary evidence, determine the extent of your injuries, and estimate your case value.
Also, we will handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance company while prioritizing your best interests. Using our in-depth knowledge, we will fight diligently on your behalf, hold the responsible parties liable, and help pursue your rightful financial compensation.
The claims adjuster isn't on your side and won't protect your best interests. Contact the Law Office of Steven R. Smith today to schedule a simple case assessment with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. We proudly represent clients across New York and Long Island, including Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, and New Hyde Park.