Among the first requests from insurance companies after you’ve been hurt in a car crash is to take a recorded statement from you about the accident. Another question frequently posed to us by prospective clients of our Personal Injury practice is
“Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
If you spend enough time around attorneys, you will discover that the answer to most legal questions starts with “It depends. . .” and the answer to this question is no different! While you are likely under an obligation to provide your own insurance company with a statement by virtue of the provisions contained in your insurance policy contract, you are under no such obligation when it comes to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
It is important to be aware that any information you provide to an adjuster in a recorded statement may later be used against you, either to diminish your credibility and/or the value of your claim or to attribute some fault for the crash to you. In a recorded statement, an adjuster will go through a series of questions designed to help her identify: (1) all parties involved in a car crash; (2) who is at fault; (3) whether coverage should be afforded; and (4) the extent of the injuries caused by the crash, if any.
Even if the other driver was ticketed and admitted fault for the crash, the insurance adjuster may still ask questions designed to identify whether you had any comparative negligence in the crash. In the state of Colorado, a driver can recover damages for property damage and bodily injury caused by a car crash ONLY if she was less than 50% at fault. If an adjuster determines you failed to keep a proper lookout or to take evasive action, for example, she could conclude that you had 15% comparative negligence in a crash and offer to pay only 85% of your damages. Typically, an adjuster is going to draw these conclusions from answers you gave in a recorded statement.
It is commonplace for liability adjusters to tell unrepresented injury claimants that a claim simply cannot move forward without a recorded statement. This assertion is almost always false, especially if police investigated the accident and created a report.
Unfortunately, if you do not have legal representation, an adjuster may continue to stall in an effort to force you to provide a statement, even where it may not be necessary or required of you. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence and the insurance company is giving you the runaround over giving recorded statements, contact the Colorado Springs Injury Attorneys at Rosenbaum & Wootton, P.C. by calling 719.634.0102 or by clicking on this link to schedule your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.