The insurance company is asking for a recorded statement after your accident. Must you provide one? Should or shouldn’t you talk to them?
By this time in your life, you’ve probably given at least one to an insurance company before. Did you know you don’t have to do that at all?
The claims adjuster comes into the situation and approaches it like they make all the rules. They don’t give you a choice. They recite what they have to and ask you to give a recorded statement about your car crash.
Here’s the thing: they know most people say “yes” because they feel obligated to. But, there’s no written law anywhere that says you have to. It doesn’t exist in Texas. And the Federal Government has not written any such law. It simply does not exist.
What’s the big problem with giving recorded statements to insurers?
Insurance companies use recorded statements for one thing, and one thing only: trying to find a way to minimize or eliminate any money they might owe you. Remember, they are multi-billion dollar corporations who only care about making billions more.
Their strategy in using recorded statements usually revolves around two things:
Getting you to say something that harms or discredits your case outright
Hoping you say something that hurts your case when read on a transcript
How you verbally respond can sound much different when written down on paper. And remember, claims adjusters do this work 40 hours per week for years. They know how to ask questions without “right” answers. And they’re skilled at what they do.
They often ask questions in ways that lead you to discredit yourself. It’s their job. And they get paid more for minimizing or denying your personal injury claim entirely.
What should you do when the adjuster asks you for one?
In some situations, the value of your claim is so small that lawyers’ fees would eat up anything you might win. This might be the case if you’re in a minor fender-bender. An honest lawyer will tell you that. So occasionally, it makes sense to talk to the claims adjuster on your own.
If that situation applies to you, stick only to the facts. Get a copy of the police report. Tell the insurance company the same thing you told the police. Don’t chatter. Say only what’s necessary. Write it down first beforehand and talk through the story a couple times first with someone in your family. Don’t change even the slightest detail. You should be okay if you go that route.
However, if you get into a bad accident, don’t talk to the insurance company at all. Let your Dallas injury lawyer do the heavy lifting. You focus on getting better from your injuries.
And if you’re not sure, you can always reach out to a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. Look for one with a perfect A+ BBB rating (there’s no good reason, only excuses, to have anything less) and who’s a member of “Texas Super Lawyers.”
They’ll be honest and forthright with you, and let you know whether they can help you, and how to talk to the insurance company if they can’t help.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.