Should You Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement?
Legal Process for Work Injury
You are hurt at work while delivering pizzas for a local pizza place. As you may know, you must report it within seven (7) days. You also have ninety (90) days to file the all-important C-4. Once that is all done, the insurance representative will have thirty (30) days to accept or deny your claim.
This is the best time to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The earlier you can consult with one, the more an accident lawyer can assist you in obtaining all the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Record a Statement or Claim Denied?
The adjuster may contact you to give a recorded statement about the accident. Unbeknownst to many injured parties, this is not mandatory and the insurance company cannot force you to give a recorded statement.
Often times adjusters will give the impression to injured workers that if they do not give the recorded statement, then the adjuster will have to deny their claim. Again, this is not true. Depending upon the facts of your case, a recorded statement may not be necessary.
For example, if you are delivering pizzas and are t-boned at an intersection to no fault of your own and a police report was generated that accurately accounts that, there may be no need to give a recorded statement.
Nevada is a no-fault state for workers’ compensation and there may really be no question about compensability in this example. The insurance company may just be fishing for information that is irrelevant to whether they accept or deny the claim.
On the flip side, sometimes it will not hurt your case at all, and can provide additional details to the adjuster to assist in their decision to accept or deny the claim.
Reasons Why the Insurance Company Might Ask for a Recorded Statement
An insurance company may request a recorded statement from accident victims for several reasons. The insurance company needs to investigate the accident and determine liability. They may ask for an initial statement to understand the circumstances surrounding the accident, including information about any injuries, property damages, and the parties involved.
Another reason an insurance company may ask for a recorded statement is to evaluate the credibility of the accident victim’s claim. They may compare the statement to other evidence, such as police officer reports or witness testimony, and assess whether the victim is telling the truth about the accident. Recorded statements may be used to detect any fraud or inconsistencies in the victim’s story.
The at-fault insurance company may use the recorded statement to limit their liability and reduce compensation to the accident victim. They may ask misleading questions or use trick questions to elicit responses that can be used against the victim later in the claims process.
However, there are also risks in giving a recorded statement to an insurance company without legal consultation. Accident victims may say something that is construed as an admission of fault or liability that could affect their chances of receiving fair compensation. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney before providing a recorded statement to an insurance company.
Preparing to Give a Statement
Preparing to give a statement to your insurance company can be a daunting task, especially if you have never been in an accident before. It is essential to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are fully prepared to give a statement that will help you receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries.
Understand Your Rights
As a victim in an accident, you have the right to understand your options before giving any statements to an insurance company.
You are not obligated to give a recorded statement to anyone associated with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It might be in your best interest to refuse to give any statement until you have sought legal counsel from an accident attorney.
Individuals have the option to seek legal representation during the claims resolution process. Skilled attorneys can assist in securing appropriate compensation for property damage, medical expenses, or any pain and suffering experienced.
It is also important to note that an insurance adjuster may try to pressure you into giving a recorded statement by misleading you that it is your legal obligation.
You have the right to seek guidance from your insurance commissioner if this happens, particularly if the adjuster claims you are breaching your duty under the contract by not providing a statement.
Seeking legal representation and further guidance from local authorities can help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injury claim and avoid any misunderstandings with insurance companies.
Have All Necessary Documentation Ready
When it comes to giving a recorded statement to your insurance company, having all the necessary documentation ready is very helpful.
This includes police reports, doctor bills, incident reports, and witness accounts. Having these documents at your disposal will allow you to provide a more accurate statement, as you will be able to refer to specific details and information.
Police reports are especially important for auto accident claims, as they document the details of the accident and who was at fault.
Medical bills provide evidence of your medical expenses related to the accident, which is necessary for your insurance company to compensate you fairly. Witness accounts can also be helpful, as they provide additional perspectives and details that may have been missed by the police report.
Review Your Insurance Policy and Coverage
It is important to understand the details of your policy, including the medical payments coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. These provisions can provide some relief in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Your insurance policy should also contain key provisions that are relevant to your insurance claim. These include your deductibles, coverage limitations, and exclusions, policy limits, time limits on filing a claim, and claim procedures. Understanding these provisions will ensure that you avoid any surprises during the claims process.
Prepare for Questions in Advance
When giving a recorded statement regarding legal matters to your insurance adjuster, it’s important to prepare for the questions they may ask you.
Common questions an adjuster might ask include when and where the accident occurred, the events leading up to the accident, and any injuries sustained. They may also ask for a description of any property damage, the insurance information of the other party involved, and if the police were called to the scene.
To prepare in advance, practice answering these questions beforehand while keeping your answers factual, to the point, and within the scope of the question.
Avoid speculating or making assumptions about the accident and be sure to stick with the facts as they occurred. Be mindful of the language you use when answering questions, as insurance adjusters may be trained to use misleading language and trick questions to twist your words.
By practicing your answers and being aware of common tactics, you can feel more confident and prepared when giving a recorded statement to your insurance company.
This can help ensure that all relevant information is provided without compromising the facts of the case or the proper amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.
How to Give an Accurate Recorded Statement
Remember that your recorded statement is a legal document that can be used against you if you don’t provide an accurate and complete account.
Stay Calm During the Call/Interview
Remain calm during this process. Losing your cool could lead to inconsistent statements, which could hurt your claim’s chances of being successful.
When giving a statement, it’s critical to stick to the details of the accident. Refrain from discussing elements of your personal life that are not related to the incident.
Be mindful of all leading questions, which could trick you into providing information that could harm your chances for a fair settlement.
Stay focused on the facts and stick to your story. Conflicting answers in the information you provide could lead to issues, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs.
Remain Factual, Not Speculative
When an insurance adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, it’s essential to stick to the facts. Only provide information you’re 100% sure about and avoid guessing or offering your opinion, even if the adjuster asks for it. Remember, your statement may be used against you, so it’s crucial to remain factual.
It’s important to understand that insurance adjusters are trained to ask misleading questions to get you to speculate or give opinions that can be used against you. They may also try to get you to make statements that contradict earlier ones you gave, which can make you look inconsistent. This is why it’s essential to remain factual when giving your recorded statement.
If someone else was at fault for the accident, their insurance company may ask you to provide a recorded statement. In this case, it’s essential to avoid making assumptions about what the at-fault driver was doing or thinking. Stick to the facts of what you saw and experienced.
As with many issues in workers’ comp in Nevada, whether you give a recorded statement is very case specific. Retaining a personal injury attorney will assist you with not only a recorded statement but all other areas of work comp in order to get the benefits you are entitled to under the law. To discuss your unique case during a FREE consultation, contact Shook & Stone.