After a car accident, think twice about giving a “statement” to the other party’s insurance company. In all my years as a lawyer handling accident cases for both defendants and plaintiffs, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the statement being helpful to the person giving it. It is usually used against them. Generally, you have no legal obligation to give a “statement” to anyone.
Usually the other party’s insurance company will call you with a very friendly tone. They will explain they just want to “learn” more about the accident and they will ask your permission to record your statement. Why would they “record” anything if all they want to do is learn about what happened? They record it so you can’t change or modify your position later on during your case. They usually contact you shortly after the accident, when you may not fully appreciate the extent of your injuries. While there might be some insurance adjusters out there who are truly interested in finding out what happened, there are also some who want to box you into a story. They will ask, “How are you today?” and you will say, “Oh, I’m fine, thank you.” After all, you are being polite…but your words may be used against you. A few weeks later when your back is still hurting, they will say, “Wait a minute, we spoke a few days after the accident, and you said you were ‘fine’….” This may exaggerate the point, but I hope you see where I’m going with this.
There are times when giving a statement is useful and necessary. It also depends on the integrity of the insurance adjuster handling the case. Consult with an experienced lawyer before you decide to give the other party all the information they are seeking. I am a personal injury attorney in the Santa Clarita area. If you need my help, please feel free to call. If you want to learn more about what to do after a car accident, give me call as well.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.