Q Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster for the negligent property owner in my premises liability case?
If you've suffered personal injury on someone else's property, events happen pretty quickly afterward. In one of your first communications with the property owner's insurance company, an adjuster will most likely ask you to give a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters often make it sound like this is standard procedure as part of processing your claim and reimbursing you. However, this is far from the truth. You're not required to give a recorded statement, and it's never a good idea to agree to one.
How a Recorded Statement Can Hurt Your Premises Liability Claim
A recorded statement is a session during which your answers to the adjuster’s questions are recorded and then used to create a written transcript of the conversation. You may not think it's a big deal to agree to this part of the claim process—after all, what do you have to hide?
However, many insurance adjusters are trained to take recorded statements as a way to get accident victims to inadvertently say things that can significantly hurt their right to compensation. Here’s how agreeing to a recorded statement could result in receiving less in your settlement:
- Statements could be used against you. Although a recorded statement isn't given under oath, it can and will be used against you in negotiating your claim and at any court hearings. While you may not have anything to hide, you could unintentionally say something that you didn't mean to say or that's slightly inconsistent to what you said previously, such as in an accident report or to your doctor. You may also not know the full extent of your injuries at the time of the recording, but your condition might worsen after the fact, and this development might be used to disprove your claim.
- Statements can be manipulated. Insurance adjusters may manipulate wording as a means to mount a stronger defense against your case and make you appear to be more at fault for your injuries.
- You could make an inadvertent mistake. You could easily make innocent mistakes while providing a statement. For example, you could forget an important detail; say something incorrectly; give a misleading answer because you didn't understand the question; or give too much information that leads the adjuster to evidence harmful to your claim.
If you're asked to give a recorded statement, you should politely say no and tell the adjuster your attorney will be in contact with him. Then call Morton Law Offices at 888.716.8021 to schedule your free case evaluation.