Hello, everyone. This is Robert Mansour, and I want to make a brief video about an issue that comes up all the time - "Should I give a recorded statement to the other party's insurance company?" The answer is generally "no." You have no legal obligation to speak to the adjuster from the other party.
As a matter of fact, it is very curious - they generally call you the day of the accident or even the next day to get a recorded statement from you, and here's why: Generally speaking, they are trying to box you into a story. How do I know that? I used to work for an insurance company as a lawyer for them. They generally want to call you right away because they want to box you into that story. They might say, "Were you hurt in the accident?" You'll say, "Well, I'm kind of sore, but not too bad." Then a few days later, you are really sore. You can hardly move. Your muscles have really tightened up, or you've discovered an injury that you didn't even realize you had on day one.
See, the problem now is you've given the other party a recorded statement, and they have you saying, "I wasn't hurt. I'm fine. Not a big deal." That's why you don't want to give a statement so early on in the process. There's very little, if anything, to be gained by it. In fact, it's usually used against you in the future.
Also, giving a statement to your company, your own company, you want to be careful with that too. You have generally a legal obligation, a contractual obligation, to cooperate with your own insurance company, because otherwise they might pull the coverage from you and say, "Well, you didn't cooperate with us, and therefore we're not going to extend coverage to you." However, there's nothing wrong with telling the adjuster, "Listen, I'm not feeling very well right now. Can I get your name and number and I'll contact you in about a week's time to talk to you at that time?" Nothing unreasonable about that.
Even better, go talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer and say, "Here's what's going on. What do you think I should do? Should I give a statement? Should I not give a statement?"
Then, you also might have the issue of liability. By talking about what happened at the accident so early on, first you might want to see what that police report has to say about everything first. Remember, you don't have a legal obligation to speak to the adjuster from the other party. You may have an obligation to speak to your own adjuster, but either way, be very careful what you say and when you decide to give that statement. You may choose not to give a statement at all. There's nothing wrong with that. Again, you may have to cooperate with your own insurance company, but at the very least, talk to an experienced lawyer first to see what your options are. Thank you very much for watching this brief video.
If you've been injured in a serious car accident, call (661) 414-7100 to see if we might be able to help you.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.