Posted in General on October 27, 2022
The aftermath of sustaining an injury can be a confusing time, particularly when it comes to dealing with insurance carriers. However, in order to recover compensation, there will need to be some type of contact with the insurance carrier. But do you have to give a recorded statement to the insurance carrier? This is important to know because recorded statements could jeopardize the overall claim if handled inappropriately.
The Law Surrounding Recorded Statements
After an injury or property damage occurs, insurance carriers will want to communicate with you about the incident and any type of medical care or property damage estimates you have received. This is reasonable because, and the vast majority of personal injury and property damage claims, the issue will be resolved through a settlement with the insurance carriers.
Let us suppose that you are called by the at-fault party’s insurance carrier a week or so after the incident occurs. Chances are, the insurance claims adjuster will let you know that you are going to need to give a recorded statement. They will say it so “matter of factly” that it will simply seem like a mandatory requirement that you have no choice about. However, there is no law in the state of California that mandates you to give a recorded statement to an insurance claims adjuster.
If you are asked by the insurance carrier to give a recorded statement, you should politely decline to do so.
The reality is that anything you say in a recorded statement could be used against you to help delay your claim or deny it altogether. The insurance carriers are looking for any type of inconsistencies in the statement you give against any statement you have previously given about the incident. The insurance carrier will want a recorded statement fairly soon after the incident because they anticipate individuals still being caught up in the chaotic aftermath of the incident, possibly frazzled and not quite understanding what to do.
Information About Speaking to Insurance Carriers
Just because you are not going to give a recorded statement to the insurance carrier does not mean that you will not have to speak to an insurance carrier at all. They will need to communicate with you or your attorney about the incident in order to process the claim. There are some things that you need to keep in mind when speaking to the insurance carrier:
- Only answer the questions that are asked. Do not carry on a conversation with the claims adjuster as if they are your friend or family member.
- Do not answer questions that you are not sure of the answer to. It is okay to say that you do not remember or you do not know.
- Do your best not to deviate from earlier statements you have given. In other words, be consistent with your story.
In many cases, you may be allowed to submit a written statement to the insurance carrier instead of speaking to them on the phone. This gives you time to think about your answers and respond appropriately. We encourage you to speak to an experienced Long Beach personal injury lawyer about how to move forward with any statement to the insurance carriers involved.