Post Date: August 6th, 2009
As a St.
Louis car accident lawyer, one of the issues I am constantly faced with is
whether I should allow my clients to give a recorded statement to the insurance
adjuster. Additionally, I even receive a
lot of emails from clients whom I don’t represent who want to know if they
should give a recorded statement.
foremost, you are never required to give a recorded statement. But the answer to whether you should give a
recorded statement is that it depends on your ultimate goals. In my cases, I rarely let my clients
speak with the adjuster simply for the fact that the adjusters hardly ever
offer a fair settlement value anyways, and there is no point in letting the
insurance company have two bites at the apple.
By this I mean that once we file the lawsuit the defense attorney will
be able to depose my client under oath so why give him a head start by allowing
him to read the recorded statement too? On the other hand, there are times where, for
various reasons, we may not want to file suit on the case but rather settle it
up front with the insurance company. In
these situations where they ask for a recorded statement, sometimes we have no
choice but to let them do it. Obviously,
there is no requirement that insurance companies settle your claim with you and
there certainly is no requirement that they pay a certain amount. Simply put, insurance companies have one goal and
that is to pay you as little as possible.
The recorded statement only serves their purposes as they will often try
to pick apart your words and twist them into something they are not so they can
use it against you later.
Of course if
you are trying to handle your claim yourself you may have little leverage in
denying the insurance company a recorded statement. They may say that without it, they
will not offer you a settlement. Again,
there is no rule that says they are entitled to a recorded statement but if you
do not have a lawyer, they know there is nothing you can do about it.
who will give a recorded statement, I highly suggest that you limit your
discussion only to the facts at issue in the case. Never make any kind of statements which may
implicate you of being guilty of any negligence if that is not the case. Additionally, if you are going to talk to the
insurance agent about your injuries, make sure you tell them every last
detail. Generally, a person’s out of
court statements cannot later be brought into court because it is hearsay. However, there is an exception when you are
the plaintiff in the case. Your out of
court statements can always be brought into court and used against you.
never be fooled into thinking that the insurance adjuster is your friend or
will be fair to you if you are fair to them.
Again, they have one goal and that is to pay you as little money as
possible. Many good insurance adjusters
will try very hard to sound very sweet and very caring but at the end of the
day it’s all about the bottom line to them.
Myers is a St. Louis personal injury lawyer specializing in auto
accidents. He is president of Myers
Injury Law and handles car accident lawsuits throughout all of Missouri and
Illinois. If you have been seriously
injured in a car wreck and would like to discuss your case with him, please
feel free to call at 888-956-2487. It is
always free to discuss your case and there are never any attorney’s fees until
we collect on your behalf.
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