After you experience a car accident, you may be asked to make a statement about what happened. When the other driver’s insurance company asks you to give your statement, they will most likely ask for permission to record your account of the events. Many accident victims fall into this trap and often regret doing so in the long run. Below are just a few things to consider before giving a recorded statement following an accident.
What You Say Can Hurt Your Case
Immediately following an accident, it is imperative that you do not comment or speculate aloud on the cause of the accident or engage with the other party other than exchanging insurance information. Even common courtesies and apologies can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt if recorded, so try to stay in your vehicle, if possible, and limit your interactions until authorities arrive.
Your Insurance Policy May Require a Statement
In rare instances, your own insurance company may request a statement for their records; however, most of the time they do not require that it be recorded. They will most likely just ask what you remember of the accident and you also have the ability to ask what they will do with the statement and if they plan on sharing your statement with anyone. Be sure to check your policy if your insurance company asks you for a statement following an accident. Refusing to provide a statement to your own insurance company can affect your claim if your policy guidelines require you to provide a statement in order for your coverage to be valid.
Other Parties Can Not Force You to Provide a Statement
Soon after an accident, you may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company in an attempt to draw a statement from you. The most beneficial thing to do in this case is to simply reject their request because providing a recorded statement to the other insurance company offers no benefit to you and will only hurt you in the long run.
Similar to your insurance company having your best interest in mind, the other insurance company provides the same thing for their client. Some problems that arise when you provide a recorded statement to the other insurance company include:
- Your statement being used against you in order to assign you blame, fault, or negligence
- The other insurance company reducing the amount they need to pay for injuries or damage
- You being asked pointedly misleading questions that lead you to admit to being partially at fault
- Your statement being used in cross examination if your case goes to court
Remember, there is no law requiring you to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company, and no one can force you to do so. Speaking to the other party or their insurance provider will only result in a lose-lose situation for you, so it’s best to hire an experienced auto accident attorney to do the speaking for you.
Your Southeast Missouri Accident Attorneys
At Lanzotti & Rau, our lawyers can protect you and guide you in the right direction to pursue legal action related to an accident. We strive to get you the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you suffered from an accident. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers are here to help handle your personal injury case. To learn more about the services we offer or to schedule a free case evaluation, call us today at 573-335-9300.