If you have been involved in a car accident, the insurance companies for you, and the other driver, may want to talk to you right away. They may threaten that if you don't talk to them, they won't pay your medical bills or pay to fix your car. Often times, they will ask that your statement about the accident be recorded. In our opinion, you should NEVER give a recorded statement after a car accident without talking to a car accident attorney first.
Giving a recorded statement can create all kinds of issues for your car accident case down the line. First and foremost, insurance companies usually try to get recorded statements within a few days of the car accident. There is a good chance that the extent of your injuries is not known; you may be in pain and on pain medications that cloud your judgment; and the adjuster may pressure you to downplay your injuries. These are tactics many insurance companies use to pay car accident victims as little as possible. Having a car accident attorney to represent you for the recorded statement can help ensure you receive the most compensation for your injuries.
Also, if the insurance company is uncertain as to who was at fault for the accident, they may try to get you to admit to doing something wrong or even try to get you to admit that you caused the car accident. There is also a strong possibility that your initial statement will likely have no weight with them. The insurance company wants your statement, hopefully, to use it against you someday. Again, this is why it is important to have a car accident attorney on your side from the beginning of your case.
Most car accident attorneys prepare their clients in advance of giving a recorded statement. A qualified car accident attorney can anticipate the questions the insurance company will ask and can help you present your side to the insurance company so that your testimony will not hurt you later.
If you are involved in a car accident, you should report the collision immediately to your insurance company. However, you should only provide them with a very short, non-recorded statement of how the car accident occurred. You can tell them that you were injured, but do not provide any details. You should provide them, if requested, with a copy of the police report or accident report. Then, tell them to contact your car accident attorney.
Further, you should be cautious with your own insurance company because, in the event that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may have to pursue an uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits claim or lawsuit against your own company. Again, a qualified and experienced car accident attorney can help with this.
Before giving a recorded statement to any insurance company, you should tell them that you need to speak with a car accident attorney first. There is no harm in waiting a couple of days before giving a recorded statement and most insurance adjusters will understand your need to consult with an attorney. Do not feel pressured into giving a recorded statement. You have the right to talk to a car accident lawyer first.
If you have been injured in an accident and need to consult with an attorney, we can help. Call our office at (702) 433-2889 to schedule an initial consultation or fill out our on-line form for more information.