In the aftermath of a car accident, especially one involving complex situations caused by brake checking, rear-end collisions, or multi-vehicle pileups, you may be asked to give a recorded statement.
While it may seem like a straightforward request, there are critical considerations to keep in mind.
Before agreeing to provide any statement, it’s essential to understand how your words could potentially be used and what impact they may have on your case.
Unless your attorney advises you otherwise, you should only give a recorded statement in the presence of your attorney. Even after a serious accident, the adjuster may try to get a recorded statement from you the same day as your accident; sometimes, within only a few hours.
But don’t be fooled. Adjusters know you might not be in the right state of mind to give a recorded statement after your car accident. Their job is to get your claim denied or processed as quickly and cheaply as possible. Most adjusters will look for reasons to deny your claim and may use your recorded statement for this purpose.
Here is how your recorded statement can hurt you:
It can be used by defense counsel to cross examine you at trial or during deposition. This may not seem problematic, but many times victims do not recall exactly what they said to the adjuster shortly after the accident. This may lead to some inconsistencies in your testimony, which defense counsel can use to try to convince the jury that you are not honest and should not be believed.
The adjuster may use confusing language to try to trap you during your statement. Even an honest, “I don’t know” response could be used against you.
Ultimately, the safest route is to ask your attorney before making any statement to the insurance company.