Should I Give a “Recorded Statement” to an Insurance Adjuster Following a New York Car Accident Where I was Injured?
It is fair to say that the answer to this question is ALWAYS: “NO”! First, you are not required to do so (except for sometimes when your own insurance, called “no-fault” insurance, asks you to do so). But the at-fault guy’s insurance NEVER has a right to get a statement from you.
Ok, you don’t have to. But why shouldn’t you? Because it can come back to haunt you.
But let’s back up. Let’s describe the problem. It is common practice for car insurance companies to have their adjusters call accident victims shortly after the car accident to ask them questions about the incident and the injuries. The adjuster will likely seem very nice and concerned for you. But at some point she will ask to record the conversation. That’s when you really need to say “no”. If you have a lawyer, you should say, “talk to my lawyer”. If you don’t, you should say, “I need to consult with a lawyer first”.
What the adjuster really wants to do is to get you to say things that will later hurt your case. They are good at this. They are trained to do it. They know how to ask questions in certain ways that are likely to trick you into minimizing your injuries, or into saying things that appear to make the driver who hit you not at fault or to make you at least partially responsible for the collision. Their goal is to lower the settlement value of your case so they can then make you a low settlement offer and reject your claim later on. That’s why the Syracuse car accident lawyers at Michaels & Smolak strongly advise our clients NOT to give a recorded statement.
Got something to say? Say it to your car accident lawyer. He or she will talk to the adjuster for you.
At Michaels & Smolak, we do allow our motor vehicle accident clients to talk directly to their own insurance, call the “no-fault” insurance carrier. Their job is to pay your medical bills and lost income and travel expenses for treatment. They are not usually your adversary.
But just forget about talking to the other guy’s insurance company. That is just too fraught with danger. And definitely don’t give a recorded statement. That is just looking for trouble.
Look, when the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier asks us to let our clients give a recorded statement, we often respond, “Ok, can we take a recorded statement from your insured”? The answer is always “no”. They want to take, but not give. They know that giving a recorded statement is not in their insured’s interest, just like it is not in yours.
Your car accident attorney knows how to deal with insurance adjusters, whether they are working out of Syracuse or other New York cities, or even out of state. We know what to tell them, and importantly what not to tell them. Don’t risk harming your case. You have already suffered enough harm from the accident! Don’t add insult to injury!
One of the benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer (in Syracuse or anywhere) is that the insurance company cannot and won’t contact you directly anymore. They must work “through” your lawyer. They will leave you alone, and you will have peace of mind. You will know that your lawyer is taking care of everything. At Michaels & Smolak, we will always work with your interests in mind, and will not allow the well trained insurance adjuster to step on your rights and squash your case. They will not get the unfair advantage they want to get by taking your statement.
We have many years of experience as Syracuse car accident lawyers. In fact, we have handled cases all over upstate New York. We know the rules, the do’s and don’ts, and the tricks insurance companies use to flatten the amount of money they are obligated to pay you for your injuries. Don’t get fooled. Contact our office today for a free case review.