Should I Give a Recorded Statement
to an Insurance Adjuster?
June 1, 2022
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you’ve likely had to speak with an insurance adjuster in the days and weeks following the incident. Although this is a very common process, it can also be stressful, especially if you’re still trying to recover from injuries sustained in the accident. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, there were 11,677 car accidents in the state that resulted in injury in 2020 alone. One question that we see over and over in these cases has to do with giving a recorded statement to insurance adjuster providers.
For any concerns you have about filing a car accident claim, call us at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC in Overland Park, Kansas. We’re able to serve clients throughout the entire Kansas City Metro area, including Jackson County, Johnson County, Douglas County, and Shawnee County.
The Insurance Adjuster’s Role
When you make a claim with an insurance company, your case will be assigned to an adjuster who works for the provider. Their job is to investigate the incident, gather evidence, then decide whether to pay out a settlement for any damages. Insurance adjusters have a lot on their plate and their main goal is to process your claim as quickly as possible and get you to agree to a settlement amount. In many cases, you could be dealing with an adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance provider as well as your own, so it’s essential you know what and what not to say.
Requests for a Statement
Adjusters will typically contact you within a day or two of the accident and ask you questions about yourself and the incident. Often, they will ask if they can record it. While it is necessary that you eventually give them information about the accident, you are not required to provide it when they ask.
Why you should refuse
The days immediately following an accident can be extremely stressful as you’re still recovering from the trauma of the incident and you may have also sustained injuries. Adjusters are just trying to move on to their next case and because of this, people often feel rushed to provide a statement, which leads to inaccuracies and misstatements. The adjuster will then be able to use this against you which may reduce your settlement. Or, they may use this information to try to prove that you were actually to blame for a portion of the accident. Some adjusters will even go so far as to ask you contradictory questions in an effort to create inconsistency in your answers and cast doubt on your story.
What to say if you choose to give a statement
In some cases, you may want to give them some information—but even here, you should be careful of what you say. If you do make a statement, ask that it not be recorded, as there’s almost nothing you can do to change your statement after it’s been recorded. You should also stick to the basic facts of the incident—where it was, what cars were involved, what time of day, and who were witnesses. Do not admit guilt or say any part of the incident was your fault. The job of the adjuster is to determine fault and your only responsibility is to provide them with basic information. If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to or are unsure of, you do not have to say anything. You want to ensure that everything you say is factually accurate and that you’re not volunteering additional information, especially about injuries. It’s okay to say that you’re still obtaining medical treatment and that you’ll provide more information at a later date.
At the end of your conversation, the adjuster will likely ask if they can send you a copy of your statement for you to sign. You should only sign this after it’s been reviewed by a car accident attorney who’s familiar with your case.
What Information Will
They Ask Me to Provide?
An adjuster will first ask you to provide basic personal information about yourself such as your name, address, and telephone number. They may also ask you about employment, but again, you don’t need to offer too many details. You only need to tell them what line of work you’re in and where you’re employed—you don’t need to give them information about your schedule or income. Remember, you can give them basic information about the accident, and then tell them that you’re working with your attorney and will provide more information at a later time.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
In many car accident cases, it may be necessary to also file a personal injury claim to ensure your expenses are adequately covered. If you’re in the Overland Park, Kansas area and would like to speak with a skilled car accident attorney about your options, contact us today at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC. We’re ready to advocate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.