Before You Talk to a Claims Adjuster
When you've been in an accident, an insurance company claims adjuster is soon to follow. Know your rights when being asked to give a recorded statement.
What do you do when you’re asked by a claims adjuster to give a recorded statement?
After getting in an accident a claims adjusters may contact you and request a recorded interview about the accident. These interviews are called recorded statements. Although this may seem like no cause for concern, what you say might be used to limit the amount of recovery you get from the insurance company. Following these tips can help when talking to a claims adjuster in Virginia.
Call a Lawyer
Before you ever agree to give a recorded statement speak with an attorney first. Your attorney will be able to advise you whether it will be helpful to your case to give a recorded statement. If you and your attorney agree to give a recorded statement make sure that the attorney is present either on a conference call or with you in person with the claims adjuster.
Know Your Rights
If the claims adjuster demands that you must give a recorded statement, you should consult your policy and ask an attorney whether this is true. In most cases you never have to give a recorded statement.
Remember that Your Adjuster Works for the Insurance Company
Claims adjusters are trained to get testimony that will reduce the amount of money the insurance company is liable to pay. The insurance company is accountable to pay the amount it owes to you under its contract, but that does not mean that they have a duty to give you the amount you request. Insurance companies are businesses and seek to limit the amount they are liable for. This is especially true when the other party’s insurance claim adjuster contacts you or if you are making an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
This means that a claims adjuster may try to get information out of you that will weaken your insurance claim. If your attorney is present during the recorded statement they can ensure that you do not answer questions that your claims adjuster has no right to know.
Claims adjusters may also use other strategies to weaken your claim or even to diminish the amount of a settlement. They may try to call you at odd times to try to catch you off-guard or may phrase questions in a way that when answered would make your story look less plausible.
How to Prepare for a Recorded Statement
If you agree to give a statement make sure to be prepared. Keep records of all the details of the accident, witnesses, police reports, and other evidence. Make sure to review the evidence before you give a recorded statement. Finally, request a copy of the audio recording and transcript of the interview. Make sure that the claims adjuster knows that you will not give them a recorded statement unless they provide you with the transcript.
In many circumstances allowing a recorded statement will not serve your interests at all. However, if an attorney advises you to give one make sure to be prepared and have the attorney present while you answer questions. Do not simply give in to the claims adjuster’s demands to get a recorded statement. Call the experienced attorneys of Christina Pendleton & Associates at (804) 554-4444 to find out how to protect your rights to insurance claims.