Tag Archive for: insurance

Are you Required to Provide a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Company After an Accident?

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may be going through a very turbulent and challenging time. If you sustained injuries from the accident, then you should be working closely with your medical provider to obtain the treatments needed to get you on the road to recovery. You might also be looking at missing work while you are getting treated and going through rehabilitation. If the injury is more serious, this process might take quite a bit longer, perhaps several months or more.

While all of this is happening, you will be contacted at some point by the insurance company. In many cases, you may hear from the insurer for the at-fault driver within just a few days. The insurance company representative is usually friendly, courteous, and seemingly empathetic. They will call and ask how you are doing and assure you that everything is going to be okay. Shortly thereafter, they might request that you provide them a recorded statement about the accident.

The insurance company representative might make it seem like giving a recorded statement is standard operating procedure. And they might make you feel like you are obligated to comply with this request. They might not tell you that directly, but they may imply that by providing them with a recorded statement, it will help ensure that the claim gets processed smoothly so you can get your settlement check sooner.

It is very important to understand that you are under no obligation to give the insurance company a recorded statement, and you should never do so without being represented by an attorney. It is never in your best interests to give the insurer any type of statement on the record without legal representation, because such statements can be used to undermine your claim.

Why Does the Insurer Want a Recorded Statement?

Before considering whether or not to provide a recorded statement, it helps to understand the motivation of the insurance company. As we talked about earlier, they might come across as kind and courteous, and we know that they portray themselves to the public as “like a good neighbor” or “the good hands people”.

The truth is that insurance companies are not in business to take care of people, they are in business to make a profit. This is not necessarily an indictment of their industry, it’s just business. In order to maximize profits, they need to pay out as little as possible for injuries that are caused by their insured. And as such, their interests are not aligned with yours.

Insurance companies are professional organizations with representatives who are very good at what they do. They have various tactics that they can use to help protect their employer’s bottom line, and one such tactic is to have an injury claimant provide a recorded statement.

How a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company Can Hurt your Claim

By getting the injured person to go on the record, the insurer can use their words against them later to minimize the amount that is paid for their claim or even to deny their claim altogether. One way a recorded statement could hurt you is if you end up with delayed symptoms from the accident that do not show up until several days or weeks later. For example, if you start to experience extreme pain in your neck and lower back sometime after the recording, the insurance company might deny treatment for these problems because you did not mention them in your original statement.

Another thing that could happen with a recorded statement as you may give an answer that implies that you were at least partially at fault for the accident. You might not remember all of the circumstances of the crash even a day or two later, and you might not be totally sure of everything that happened. But whatever the case, make sure you do not admit any kind of fault for the crash.

If the insurance company can get you to take even partial responsibility for the accident, this can be especially problematic in a state like Alabama. In Alabama, an injured party can be barred from recovering damages even if they are 1% at fault for the underlying accident or event. This is all the more reason to get a skilled and knowledgeable attorney involved in your case as early as possible, so your right to recover compensation can be fully protected.

Injured in a Car Crash in Alabama? Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone close to you suffered injury in an auto accident, do NOT give a recorded statement to an insurance company without speaking with a lawyer first. If the accident occurred in Alabama, M. Adam Jones and Associates is ready to go to work for you. Call our office today or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment.

Dealing with Insurance after a Personal Injury

When an individual is injured because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party, they should receive damages for their injuries. Unfortunately, it is almost never as simple as asking the responsible party to compensate you for your losses. In the vast majority of cases, the negligent party will deny fault or, at the very least, try to downplay or minimize what they’ve done or even argue that the injured party was partly to blame.

In most types of personal injury cases, there is an insurance company involved. This is especially common with incidents such as automobile accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, and premises liability cases. When there is an insurer involved, you generally no longer deal with the responsible party directly. Instead, you are now dealing with an insurance adjuster.

Most of the time, this adjuster will be for the other party’s insurer. One notable exception to this is when the other party does not have insurance or is underinsured, in which case you may be dealing with the adjuster for your own insurer, or possibly the adjusters for both companies.

Who is the Insurance Company Working For?

When dealing with an insurer after a personal injury, it is very important to understand that they are not looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, and what is most important to them is their bottom line. This means that, at the end of the day, the primary concern of the insurer is the company’s bottom line, not your financial well-being. With this in mind, you need to be very careful how you deal with insurance carriers after an auto accident or any other type of personal injury.

Here are some guidelines for how to handle your insurer and the insurer for the other party:

Dealing with Your Own Insurer

In many cases, such as with motor vehicle accidents, you will need to report the incident to your own insurance provider. Carriers want you to contact them within a reasonable period of time after the accident. This usually means within about 72 hours. When you call your insurer, be ready to present all the basic facts of the case and nothing more. If they ask about your injuries, do not give them any details. Instead, tell them you want to wait until you have an extensive medical report, so you have a more accurate assessment to provide.

The most important thing to keep in mind when talking to your insurer or anyone else about the accident is do NOT admit any fault whatsoever for the incident. In Alabama, it is very difficult to pursue a personal injury claim because our state uses a legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence”. Under this doctrine, negligent parties are barred from recovering compensation, even if they are only 1% at-fault for the accident.

Your words can be used against you, even by your own insurance company. Do not engage in any casual conversation about the accident; and, in particular, refrain from speculating about who did what. Hopefully, you have already collected multiple photos (and perhaps video footage) from the accident, there is a police report on file, and you have some eyewitnesses that saw what happened and have already provided statements to the police. There is no need to say anything further than what is already documented.

Dealing with the Insurance Company for the Other Party

Within a few days or so after a personal injury occurs, you will most likely be contacted by the adjuster for the other party’s insurer. Keep in mind again that this is the person representing the party that injured you, and their ultimate goal is to pay nothing or as little as possible in damages.

In many cases, one of the first things the adjuster will do is ask to record your conversation and/or for you to make a recorded statement. They may even try to imply that this is required and that the case cannot proceed without it. This is not true and, in fact, you are under no obligation to say anything to the other party’s insurance adjuster. When they call, let them know that you have nothing to say, and that your attorney will be in touch with them.

Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP

When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence or reckless acts, you should not go through this alone. Even before the insurance adjuster for the other party calls, it is best to speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney. Once you retain an attorney, they can deal directly with insurance, putting their experience to work to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.

At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we have seen the ways insurance companies try to evade responsibility for their clients’ actions. We know their tricks, and we are not intimidated by the games they play. We work closely with our clients to put together a rock-solid case that will stand up at trial and, in most cases, compel the other side to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 334-699-5599 or send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.