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Just Say No: Understanding Recorded Personal Injury Statements

If you've been injured in a car wreck, the last thing you probably want to do is to talk about it with the at-fault driver's insurance carrier. The caller, however, seems so nice and polite and you don't want to seem rude. As as added incentive, the caller also might promise you that if you consent to a recorded call that a fat check is just waiting for you to settle your case. It's tempting, particularly when you consider how much you want to get your life back together again. Read on to learn why it's better to just say no when it comes to giving recorded statements about your accident.

What is the purpose of this call?

In most cases, the very polite caller insists that they need to close their case and send you a check, but they are missing a few pieces of information that they hope you can provide. You should understand that this is very likely not the real reason for the call. This caller, who is actually a claim adjuster for the other side, is hoping to get you to say something that will put your claim in jeopardy. In spite of assurances to the contrary, insurance companies hate to cut checks for damages related to accidents. They are for-profit businesses, and they would quickly be out of business if they didn't try every trick in the book to avoid paying a penny too much. They know how desperate you are for closure and money damages, so they use this as a carrot to get you to speak to them.

What's the worst that could happen?

The at-fault driver's insurance carrier knows that if they can distribute some of the blame for the accident to anyone other than their client, they are reducing their own liability for the wreck. Anytime the liability goes down for them and increases for you, the amount of money they potentially might have to pay goes down in amount. Instead of verifying details, you may be asked some open-ended questions that could have you saying something that reduces your settlement amount. You might admit that you could have been speeding at the time of the accident, for example. This seemingly innocent admission could end up harming your claim for damages.

Speak to a personal injury attorney instead of a claims adjuster, and understand that you are in no way obligated to speak to the other side's insurance representative. For more information, contact a law firm in your area, such as Monohan & Blankenship.