It’s nearly impossible to be fully prepared for the physical, emotional, and financial strain that being involved in a car accident has on your life. If you’ve found yourself in a serious car accident that resulted in bodily injury, whether by the fault of your own or not, you will ultimately find that the process after the accident can be just as difficult as the actual event.
As with any personal injury accident, seeking medical attention is the single most important thing you can do for yourself and your family. Once you’re physically able, you’ll need to make sure to cover any time you’ll need off work, secure a replacement vehicle, and begin navigating the best course of action to take with the insurance companies involved. When a claim is filed with either insurance companies, one of the first actions the company will take is to contact you, and the other driver to give recorded statements to their adjusters regarding the events leading up to, during, and after the accident. The majority of drivers give this statement freely as it seems harmless. If you were not at fault, you have no reason to hide anything and want to give a truthful record of what happened to you. Well, it may not be in your best interest to give a recorded statement without an attorney. Learn more about the adjusting processes why it’s wise to refrain from giving a recorded statement on your own.
What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster can either work directly for your or the other driver’s insurance company or be hired from a third party company. You may have heard them referred to claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, but regardless of their title, their job is to evaluate insurance claims. During this evaluation, they conclude whether an insurance company must pay a claim, and if so, how much.
What is the Purpose of a Recorded Statement?
Insurance adjusters will attempt to obtain a recorded statement from you for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of money that the insurance company they represent will have to pay you. If the claim goes to trial, the Rules of Evidence usually only allow an injured person’s recorded statement made to an adjuster to be used to contradict things that they, the injured, have said in court. You have the right to refuse to provide a statement to them, but keep in mind if your own insurance company is requesting it they could potentially cancel your PIP coverage if you do refuse.
What To Do If They Insist
If the accident you were involved in caused severe bodily or property damage, resulting in a high number claims, chances are they will continue to pressure you to give them a statement. Should these requests continue to come after you’ve declined from either your own or the other insurance company, your best option is to contact a personal injury lawyer. An attorney who specializes in personal injury cases will help you address the insurance companies' inquiries while protecting your rights. Should the claim move all the way to the legal system, having an attorney that is familiar with your case from the start will certainly help.
It can be very intimidating dealing with insurance companies, especially if this is your first serious accident. Remember that your health is simply the most important thing to address. As soon as you’re able, retain an attorney to handle the legalities of filing a personal injury insurance claim.