If you are involved in a personal injury incident, you may be asked to provide a recorded statement for an insurance company. The statement may be done via phone call or a person-to-person interview with an adjuster. However, what you say during your statement can significantly impact your ability to bring a legal claim. An experienced attorney can help you present your claim in the best possible light. However, it is important to remember the following key points:
1) Always tell the truth.
2) It is OK to say, I do not know.
This applies to everything from the time of the day to how fast your vehicle was moving. If you cannot recall the exact time, speed, date, weather, etc., it is OK to tell the insurance company that you cannot recall, because you are under no duty to guess at important facts that you may not remember.
3) Be clear and concise when answering questions.
Also, if the insurance adjuster asks you a string of questions without giving you an opportunity to answer, be sure to ask the adjuster to clarify which question they want answered first. This will help avoid any confusion between you and the adjuster.
4) Stay calm and relaxed.
What you say during the recorded statement helps set-up your claim. Therefore, take ownership in what you are saying, how you look, and how you are presenting yourself. By staying calm and relaxed, you are more likely to take your time to adequately think about your answer to a question before you actually respond.
5) Answer only the question that is asked and nothing more.
You are only responsible to answer what the adjuster has asked you regarding your claim. You do not need to provide the adjuster any other information than what they specifically request. Often times, at the conclusion of the statement, the adjuster will ask you if you would like to add anything; do not. Your attorney always has the option to ask you to provide further information if he or she believes it is necessary for the adjuster to properly evaluate your claim.
The recorded statement may be your first interaction with the insurance company you are bringing a legal claim against. A good attorney will prepare you for your statement by going over all the things that the adjuster may ask you about so you can feel confident and at ease. This can be a stressful time, but by following these tips, you can help avoid any possible pitfalls throughout this stage of the claim process.