Why To Say ‘No’ To Recorded Statements With Insurance Adjusters
After an accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn for support and what to do first. Insurance claim adjusters can seem friendly and you may think they are trying to be helpful, like any other customer service agent, but their friendly demeanor and helpful facade are very strategic. Insurance adjusters have a conflict of interest when it comes to assisting you. Their priority is settling your claim for as little as possible or denying it outright without paying any compensation. They use several tactics to achieve this end. One is attempting to contact you as soon as possible after an accident. Adjusters know that immediately following an accident you will have no idea what the extent of the damage is, and will not have had time to consult a lawyer or medical professional. For this reason, they may be able to convince you to settle for far less than you would after having had time to process and get full information on the accident and the harm that it caused. It is always advisable to defer talking to an insurance adjuster until you have full and complete information. This means taking the time to see a medical professional to find out the extent of your injuries as well as consulting with a lawyer before you feel obligated to speak with an adjuster. If you retain a lawyer, they can also take over as your point of contact with insurance adjusters to ensure that your rights are protected and that you avoid all possible pitfalls and snafus.
Refusing Recorded Statements
In the event that you choose to talk to an insurance adjuster on your own (rather than having a lawyer speak to them on your behalf), you will likely be asked at some point during the conversation if it is okay if they record your statement. While you may not see the harm, or think that agreeing is just good manners, agreeing to a recorded statement can have serious repercussions for your claim, particularly if you give a recorded statement early on in the process before you have consulted with medical professionals and a lawyer. It’s also critical that you never speak to an insurance adjuster while you are upset, disoriented, medicated, distracted, or in pain. It is important that you only agree to talk once you are calm, collected, and fully present and aware. You have the right to defer this conversation until you are in a good state to have it. You also do not have to give a verbal statement at all. You can instead request to submit a written statement. In any case, giving a recorded statement can easily backfire. Soft tissue injuries and even more serious injuries can often take 3-5 days following a car accident to become apparent. If, in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster that you are not injured, and then find out later that you have a fractured vertebrae, the adjuster may cite the recording, saying that they have you on record saying that you were not injured in the crash. This can be difficult to overcome. For this reason, it is always best to avoid talking to an insurance agent until you have all possible information and know the full extent of your injuries, and to politely decline any requests to give recorded statements.
Talk to a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Maryland car accident that was not your fault, the experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP are ready to help you navigate the insurance process and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation.