When the insurance company asks for a recorded statement, do you have to provide one? The short answer: No, you don’t have to provide a recorded statement after a car accident.
After an accident, it’s normal to deal with an insurance company because you want to recover compensation for your damages. One part of the claims process is an investigation by the insurance adjusters. Often, this includes them asking you to provide a statement about the accident.
It sounds simple enough, right? According to the insurance adjuster, the company just wants to hear your side of the story. Still, it’s not a good idea for you to share anything.
While there are times you have to provide a statement, it’s important to contact your attorney before you say anything to the insurance company.
What Is a Recorded Statement?
A recorded statement is a description of the accident that you provide to the insurance company on the record. It’s an aspect of their claim investigation, and it allows them to determine fault as well as a settlement amount. Everything you say in a statement goes into a document as part of the claim file.
It sounds normal enough, but you have to remember that the insurance company isn’t on your side. The adjuster’s job is to protect the company’s profit margins, which means reducing your settlement or denying your claim.
Their goal is to ask questions in a way that leaves you less sure about the details of the accident. This leaves openings for them to shift fault in the claim. Additionally, they might ask about medications, your medical history, or other aspects of your life.
You do not have to answer these questions, but they don’t want you to know that.
What Does the Insurance Company Want?
When the insurance company asks for a recorded statement, they don’t really want the details. They aren’t worried about you or your condition. In reality, they want to find openings to shift blame, minimize your injuries, and reduce your compensation.
Here’s how they do that.
- Inconsistencies: They compare your recorded statement to other reports and look for any inconsistencies. Then, they use these to claim you lied or cast doubt on your version of the story.
- Misleading questions: The insurance adjusters use trick questions to get vague answers. A polite “I’m fine” or an “I don’t know” gives them room to cast doubt on your claim.
- Injuries and condition: The adjuster might ask about how you felt after the accident, your injuries, how you are now, etc. They want to hear “I felt okay” or “It wasn’t too bad” because they can use it as evidence that you weren’t injured in the crash.
- Any information they can use: The adjuster tries to be friendly and casual to trick you into opening up. They want to hear about past accidents, previous injuries, and anything they can use to limit your settlement.
Do I Have to Provide a Recorded Statement?
If the other driver’s insurance company asks for a recorded statement, remember that you do not have to provide one. Moreover, you should not provide one without speaking with a lawyer.
When they ask you for a statement, simply decline and tell them that you want to seek legal advice before talking to them. Then, find yourself an experienced car accident attorney.
If you have to file a claim on your own car insurance policy, it’s not an easy situation. You have to cooperate with your insurance company to an extent. However, it’s important to be cautious. As much as they try to make it sound like they have your back, they want to protect their profits.
So, whether you have to deal with your own policy or a negligent driver’s policy, do not provide a recorded statement without speaking to your lawyer.
How An Attorney Helps You In Your Claim
- Preparation: We walk through what happened before, during, and after the accident to determine what to say and how to say it.
- Keep it relevant: In Texas law, you can refuse to give the insurance company information that is not relevant to your claim. We help you keep it on topic.
- The facts: Stick to the basic details of the accident. We help you filter out anything they might use against you.
- Write it down: You only get one chance at the recorded statement. When you write it down, you have the opportunity to revise it and be ready for anything.
- Communication: Our attorneys speak to the insurance adjusters on your behalf. Regardless of preparation, these people have years of experience and training to get statements they can use against victims. We have plenty of experience talking to them and know how to level the playing field.
Once you provide a recorded statement to the insurance company, it’s part of the car accident claim. There’s not opportunity to revise it at that point. That’s why it is so important that you work with an attorney.
Our job is to protect your best interests and ensure you are in a good position to demand compensation.
Common Car Insurance Recorded Statement Questions
Generally, you can expect a call from an insurance adjuster pretty soon after you report an accident. As stated, they want to take your recorded statement. So, you might wonder what kind of questions they ask.
Often, adjusters work off of a script, and their goal is to catch you with a vague question that leaves you giving away too much information.
Here are some of the most common questions insurance adjusters ask during a recorded statement.
- What is your full name?
- Are you aware this conversation is being recorded?
- Do I have your permission to record your statement?
- What are your address, phone number, and date of birth?
- Can I share any information we discuss with other adjusters?
- What is the make, model, and year of the vehicle in the accident?
- Are you the registered owner of this vehicle?
- Do you use this vehicle for business, government work, personal use, or a mix?
- At the time of the accident, were you working?
- Were any passengers in the vehicle?
- On what day did the accident occur?
- At what time?
- How many vehicles were involved in your accident?
- What street were you on?
- Was there light, moderate, or heavy traffic at the time of the accident?
- Did weather conditions factor into the accident?
- What happened that caused your accident?
- Did your vehicle sustain any damage?
- What damage did the other vehicle sustain?
- Did you take any evasive actions to avoid the collision?
- Were you using your phone or any other device when the accident occurred?
- At what speed were you driving? What was the posted speed limit?
- Were you under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt?
- Did your airbag deploy?
- Who called the police to the scene?
- Did the police officer at the scene create a police report?
- Were any of the vehicles moved before the police arrived?
- Did the police issue any citations or tickets?
- Were there any witnesses at the scene?
- Did you seek medical attention after the accident?
- Is there anything you would like to add about the accident?
Get the Compensation You Deserve
At Herbert Trial Law, we have years of experience working with victims of car accidents. Our legal team knows how to work with insurance companies, and we’ve seen every tactic they use to reduce settlements. We strive to fight for the compensation you deserve and represent your best interests.
And, we’re always Ready to Win. All it takes to work with us is to schedule a free consultation with our team. When you come in, we can review your case, cover your options, and answer your questions.
There’s no cost to learn more about your claim. Call us today at (713) 987-7100 to schedule your free consultation.