Beware of Recorded Statements as an Insurance Adjuster Tactic

June 21, 2014

Even non-lawyers know that personal injuries can result from a variety of causes–car crashes, defective products, or dangerous conditions on another’s property, just to name a few.  One thing that does not change from injury to injury, however, is that once the responsible party’s insurance company receives notice of your injury they will contact you and request a recorded statement.  Beware of insurance companies requesting recorded statements.

Letting Your Guard Down 

Adjusters seeking recorded statements routinely convey that they are merely asking for a brief description of the incident for their file.  In reality, they are compiling as much information that they can to deny your claim.  By speaking to you before you have the chance to consult a personal injury lawyer, adjusters hope that you will be more casual (and less careful) in your description of events.  Be assured that any misstatements you make due to not thinking the questions through will be used against you later.

Minimizing Your Injuries

Adjusters also will typically ask about the extent of your injuries.  Certainly, they have a right to know what injuries you suffered as a result of their insured’s negligence; but you cannot accurately provide a full picture of your injuries if you do not yet have that full picture yourself.  Requests for a recorded statement often come within a day or two of an accident, before a victim of negligence even has a chance to see a doctor or feel the full effects of her injuries.  Insurance companies do this purposely.   By recording your statement at a time when you do not yet know how severe your injuries are or before the long-term pain becomes apparent, adjusters are preparing for an attempt to deny the severity of your injuries in settlement discussions or a subsequent lawsuit.

Gathering Your Personal Information

Adjusters also use the recorded statement as a way to get as much personal information as they can.  Ask yourself this: if they simply want my version of the facts, why would the insurance company need my social security number/date of birth/marriage info/etc.?  The answer is that insurance companies do not need this information at this stage, but they want it so that they can begin digging into your life as they prepare to make their case against you.

Make Them Wait

If you or a loved one has been injured and an insurance adjuster contacts you for a recorded statement, that should be your cue to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.  While insurance companies may have a right to some of the information they request, you deserve to present your case completely and accurately so that you receive full compensation for your injuries.  Call the Cleveland personal injury lawyers at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation regarding your personal injury claim.

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