Q & A: SHOULD I GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY AFTER A CRASH?
No, you should NOT give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster after a car accident, until you speak with a lawyer. If you are asked to give a recorded statement by an insurance company, you should politely refuse to do so until you have consulted with an attorney.
In most circumstances, I usually advise against giving a recorded statement to an insurance company after a crash, because the insurance companies just don't play fair. The reason that insurance companies want to audio record interviews of injured people right after a crash is that it helps them pay less on claims. Auto insurance companies always demand a recorded statement, but then refuse to voluntarily share copies of the statements of their insured and independent witnesses.
I also run into some very shady practices by these insurance companies. Often injured people who are being interviewed are under the influence of prescription narcotic pain medication and in no condition to be quizzed mentally. They will also call injured people while they are hospitalized and attempt to get a recorded statement. At other times, the injured person has not yet received medical treatment and may be in severe pain. They are happy to take a statement from a distracted person and ask objectionable or misleading questions. Lastly, sometimes they try to pressure unrepresented people into making an unfair deal to resolve their claim.
There are some very rare circumstances in which I would ever advise a client to give a pre-litigation recorded statement to an insurance company adjuster. This determination should only be made by an experienced attorney who is familiar with the specifics of a case.
Jay Ciulla is a Phoenix persona injury and wrongful death lawyer. Call (602) 495-0053 for a free consultation.