When you file a car accident claim, your claim is assigned an adjuster. In many cases, the insurance adjuster calls you even before you think to contact the insurance company. There are two very important things you need to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance adjuster:
- The insurance adjuster does NOT work for you, even if you are filing a claim against your car insurance policy; and,
- The insurance adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible to settle your claim.
Therefore, be extremely careful when dealing with an insurance adjuster. Insurance companies train their adjusters to use certain tactics to gain evidence that may be used against the accident victim to deny the claim or lower the amount paid on the claim. Recorded and written statements are a common tactic used by insurance adjusters.
You Are Not Required To Provide A Recorded Or Written Statement
It is very important for you to understand your rights. An insurance adjuster may tell you he needs a statement before he can process your accident claim. He may tell you that to pay your medical bills and reimburse you for lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses, you must provide a statement. This is not true. The law does not require you to provide a written or recorded statement for the company to process your insurance claim. Making a statement could harm your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries.
Because your statement does not need to be given under oath, anything you say to the insurance adjuster can be used against you in court. If you contradict yourself, the attorney for the defendant argues that you are not truthful. If you are not truthful, the jury cannot trust you about the severity of your injuries and damages. A talented defense attorney can twist your words.
Insurance companies train adjusters to ask leading questions to prompt answers that can be misinterpreted. For example, the adjuster may say something like, “Wow, you were very busy that day taking the kids to all of those activities. You must have had a lot on your mind.” If you agree, the defense attorney will argue that you were distracted at the time of the collision. Because you were distracted, you are partially at fault for the collision. With one simple statement, you could lose the case.
What Should I Do If Asked To Provide A Statement?
If an insurance adjuster requests a statement, politely decline and contact our office immediately. The only exception may be if you are working with your insurance company. Your policy may require that you cooperate with an accident investigation, including providing a statement.
However, the law does not require you to provide a statement, even to your insurance provider. If possible, we strongly urge you to contact our office and speak with one of our Louisville car accident attorneys before providing a statement to an insurance company.
Contact a Louisville Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, our Louisville car accident lawyers can help. We can help prepare a statement that is accurate and truthful that does not impair your ability to collect a fair and just settlement for your injury claim. We are here to provide guidance, support, and sound legal counsel as you focus on your recovery and we focus on protecting your legal rights.