After a car crash, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company. In most of the cases, the adjuster will ask you to give a recorded statement.
However, be cautious because a recorded statement can hurt your case. You should always talk to an Orlando car accident attorney first.
Am I Required to Give a Recorded Statement?
There is no law in Florida requiring you to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company is looking for ways to deny your claim or minimize your payout.
Depending on the terms of your policy, you may be required to comply if your insurance company asks for a recorded statement. If you need to record a statement, it’s best to wait until you have a chance to talk with a car accident lawyer.
What to Do During a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster will generally get in touch with you while you are still recovering. They will ask you to allow them to record you on their phone or other device as you give details referring to:
- Your name, address, and birth date
- Your insurance coverage
- How the accident happened.
Generally, you should leave communications with the other driver’s insurance company to your car accident lawyer.
A recorded statement can have serious repercussions for your car accident claim. You need to be very careful about what you say. Here are the most important things to remember.
Do Not Admit Fault in Any Way
Make sure that you never say “I’m sorry” or any other polite formula that may be interpreted as an admission of fault. This is not a moment for courtesy. The adjuster will certainly not pay you any. They are looking for ways to increase your proportion of fault and reduce the value of your claim.
This is because Florida now applies a comparative negligence principle to car accidents. Thus, if you are found more than half at fault for the crash, you no longer have the right to file a claim and collect compensation for your damages.
Only Answer the Question the Adjuster Asks
An experienced Orlando car accident lawyer knows how vulnerable you are after a crash. You may believe that the adjuster genuinely wants to help you. So you feel like you can trust them and chat with them to forget about your pain for a few minutes.
Don’t make this mistake! The adjuster appears friendly in order to lull you into a sense of safety. In fact, they are manipulating you into making contradictory or self-incriminating statements. Thus, only answer the questions and do not volunteer any extra information.
Do Not Guess
It is important to say only what you know for sure, such as how the other car crashed into yours: from the front, back, or side. Never say anything bordering guesswork such as:
- The other driver appeared to be drunk
- That the other car was speeding
- That you believed they had hit a pothole and then crashed into your car.
These are aspects that the police will determine during the investigation and include in the accident report. If you start guessing and are proven wrong, the adjuster will claim that you lied in order to make their client appear at fault for the accident.
Ask for Clarification If You Don’t Understand a Question
Adjusters may formulate their questions in convoluted ways in order to confuse you. Or, as you are still in pain, you may be unable to understand even a straightforward one. In any of these situations, ask for clarifications. Ask the adjuster to reformulate and give you details as to what they want to know.
Even if the adjuster appears annoyed, do not apologize. After all, they wanted to see you, in your hospital room, instead of waiting until you feel better.
Remain Polite and Cooperative during the Interview
Finally, you must remember that the adjuster is noting everything you say and do. It’s important to be polite. Don’t argue or become frustrated, as the insurance adjuster could argue your behavior is a sign of dishonesty.
However, you have every right to decline to answer questions if you aren’t sure of the answer. You also should avoid discussing fault for the accident.
Let an Experienced Orlando Car Accident Attorney Help You!
If possible, delay giving a statement to the insurance adjuster until you have legal representation. A skilled Orlando car accident attorney will listen to your side of the story and coach you on what to say and avoid saying to the adjuster.
Do not delay seeking help! We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at (786) 249-7999!