Should you give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster after an auto accident?
The Recorded Statement with the Adjuster
Adjuster: “Hi. This is Cindy from Statewide Insurance Company. I understand that you were in an accident. Is that right?”
You: “Yes, it is.”
Adjuster: “Well I am sorry about that. I am going to process this claim for you. I just need to ask you a few questions to get started. Do you have a few minutes?”
Adjuster: “Alright. Now, I am going to record our conversation for my file. Is that ok?”
You: “That is fine. I have nothing to hide.”
Adjuster: “Great. Can you tell me about the accident?”
You: “Sure. It wasn’t my fault. The other driver, he just . . . And, then I went to the hospital”.
Adjuster: “I understand.”
Adjuster: “Can you tell me, where were you coming from?”
Adjuster: “Where were you going?”
Adjuster: “What were you doing immediately before the accident?”
Adjuster: “Is there anything at all that you could have done to avoid the accident?”
Adjuster: “When was the very first moment in time that you saw the other car?”
Adjuster: “How far away was the car when you saw it?”
Adjuster: “How much time passed between the time you first saw the car and impact?”
Adjuster: “Now, please forgive me. I have to ask everyone this question. Had you had any alcohol to drink that day? Had you taken any drugs or medication?”
Adjuster: “Were you injured in any way?”
“Adjuster: "What was injured in the wreck?”
Adjuster: “Ok. Your back, neck and knee were hurt. Was anything else hurt?”
Adjuster: “Have you had problems with your neck before the accident?”
Adjuster: “Have you seen any medical professionals for these injuries?”
These are just some of the questions that an adjuster will ask. Do you notice any thing about the questions? Ask yourself two questions:
1. If the accident was completely and totally the other driver’s fault why do all of the questions relate to the injured person and not to the person who caused the accident?
2. The adjuster needs to get a recorded statement "for her file". Oh . . . What does that mean?
Questions about the Auto Accident
Shouldn’t she already have a collision report in her file? Doesn’t the collision report say what happened? Didn’t the investigating officer perform a thorough investigation? Didn’t he obtain statements, take measurements, record weather information and document road conditions? Didn’t he prepare a detailed written report? Didn’t he indicate clearly in that written report that the collision was caused by the other driver? What else does she need "in her file"?
Questions about your Medical Treatment
Didn’t the doctor and other medical professionals perform examinations? Don’t they usually record their findings? Don’t they usually document their diagnosis and prescribed course of treatment? Aren’t the medical records readily available? Wouldn’t these records be a more accurate and thorough source of information about your medical condition than asking you to answer questions with no preparation in a casual conversation? Wouldn’t obtaining those records be a better way to get the information that she needs "in her file"?
Would you be surprised to know . . .
She already has the report. She is going to get the medical records.
So what’s with all the questions?
She is fishing. All of these questions are designed to do one thing. They are designed to gather information that can be used to pay you nothing or pay you less than you deserve. It is her job to resolve this claim in a way that is best for her employer.
The Business Model for Insurance Companies
Think about it for a moment. Insurance companies do two things. They collect premiums and pay claims. All companies seek to maximize profits. Insurance companies maximize profits by collecting as much money as possible in premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. Her job is to help them pay out as little as possible for your claim.
Doesn’t it make sense to have someone on your side? Shouldn’t you have someone working for you? Wouldn’t it be nice to know someone is there to make sure you are treated fairly? Wouldn't it be great to have someone who Speaks for you?
What if I told you that help was a phone call away? What if I told you that we would take care of everything? What if I told you that there would be no charge for our services unless we are successful? In decades of representing injured people, I have never seen one case where an injured person would have been better off it they had not called.
Call 910) 341-7570 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with someone about your case. Or you can call for a free copy of my book The North Carolina Auto Injury Book or download it free here.