The Insurance Adjuster Wants My “Statement”? What Should I Do?
Many times during a personal injury claim, the insurance company or claims adjuster will ask the injured person to call them or come in for a “recorded statement” (sometimes just called a “statement”). If this is the first time you have been injured because of someone else’s fault, you may not be familiar with the process and this can seem like an unusual request. The short answer is that it is not unusual, but you need to be aware of some very important things before you decide to do this.
First, in most cases, it is your option whether or not you want to provide this statement. In many states (including Georgia), you are not required to provide a statement to the other party’s insurance company. In some situations – including where the insurer asking for the statement is your own uninsured/underinsured motorist, or “UM”, insurer – you do have a duty to provide this statement. However, if the insurer requesting the statement is the insurer of the at-fault party, you generally don’t have any duty and are not required to provide the statement.
Next, you must decide whether it helps you to provide this statement. This is where it is crucial to consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area. Every day the Marietta personal injury lawyers at The Strickland Firm helps injured people with these decisions. There are certain situations where it might benefit you to provide the statement, but only a personal injury attorney can help you determine whether it is right for you. Under no circumstances should you agree to give a statement without first speaking with a personal injury lawyer.
One of the most important thing to remember is why the insurance company is asking to take your statement. They may tell you that it will help speed up the claim process or that it just something they need to complete their file. However, in reality, the most common use of these recorded statements is to save your version of the incident for the insurer to use later – especially if you have to take the case into litigation or sue their insured driver. We see recorded statements being dragged out in a lawsuit later to compare every insignificant detail to what you said later in the case. Any difference will be presented at trial wheee the insurer’s attorney William argue to the jury that you can’t be believed because your story has “changed” or sometimes even that you are lying. Because of this, there are only a few special cases in which an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer would advise that you provide this statement. Again, only a Marietta personal injury lawyer can tell you whether you should provide a recorded statement to the other insurer or not.
I hope that you can see why you must speak to a Marietta personal injury lawyer before agreeing to provide your recorded statement. Only an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer can help advise you whether your situation is right to provide a recorded statement because in so many cases, it is not the right decision to provide the recorded statement. This is just one of the many decisions with which the experienced counsel at The Strickland Firm can help you. In most cases, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Form can even help you make this decision over the phone. It is quite often the reason that injured people call our office because they have questions about whether or not they should provide a recorded statement. Further, if you retain an attorney, that attorney is allowed to be on the call or present at the taking of the recorded statement to ensure that your rights and claim is protected.
The Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm can help you understand your options going forward, and protect your rights if trial becomes necessary. Contact the offices today for a free consultation.