Why You Should Never Give a Statement to the Liable Party’s Insurer
If you were hurt in a car accident and your case meets Florida’s “serious injury” threshold, you may seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. A successful third-party claim could yield funds for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life.
At some point during the claims process, the insurance adjuster will likely ask for a recorded statement; however, it’s advisable to avoid giving one. Here are some of the biggest reasons why:
- It Might “Lock-In” the Total Damages
- It Might Be Used to Challenge Your Credibility
- It Might Be Misrepresented in Court
Discussing your condition before reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI) could essentially “lock-in” the total damages. Should you share your prognosis with the claims adjuster but your injuries do not heal as anticipated, the insurer might dispute the total cost of your damages.
If you agree to discuss the wreck, the claims adjuster will want to know what you think happened in the moments leading up to the crash. Sharing your impressions may seem harmless, but if they happen to contradict what the investigation reveals, your statements could be used to challenge your credibility.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid speculating on the underlying cause of the accident. Instead, let your legal team handle all correspondence with the insurance company.
If your case proceeds to trial, the insurer might admit the statements you provided out of context as part of their defense. Depending on the circumstances, this could seriously jeopardize the strength of your case.
What Should I Do When the Claims Adjuster Asks for a Recorded Statement?
If you intend to take legal action following a wreck for which you were not responsible, it’s wise to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Then, you can simply refer the claims adjuster to your legal team. As long as your lawyer handles all correspondence with the opposing party, the adjuster won’t be able to manipulate you into jeopardizing your case inadvertently.
What If I Already Gave a Recorded Statement?
Perhaps you gave a recorded statement to the insurance company without knowing the potential ramifications of doing so. The best way to protect your case would be to consult an attorney.
A seasoned car accident lawyer will review all correspondence you’ve had with the insurer to date to determine the most strategic way to proceed. It may be possible to amend your statement, for example, by submitting supporting documentation that wasn’t initially available, such as diagnostic images or deposition from an accident reconstruction expert.
Discuss Your Claim with an Accident Lawyer in Stuart
If you intend to file a third-party insurance claim, contact Donaldson & Weston before getting started. After evaluating the circumstances, we will help you determine the most strategic way to proceed.
Should you have grounds for a claim, we won’t charge a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Stuart.