In the aftermath of an auto accident, you may be contacted by many parties, including bill collectors and insurance companies. The professional who contacts you from an insurance company is known as the insurance claims adjuster. It is critical to understand that while the claims adjuster may come off as friendly, he or she is not on your side. The adjuster will use many tactics to try to get you to settle your insurance claim for as little as possible, including a recorded statement.
Expect a phone call from an insurance claims adjuster as soon as the day of your car accident. The adjuster will want to ask for details about the accident. Asking you to give a recorded statement soon after the crash is one of the tactics an insurance company may use to devalue or deny your claim.
Note that no federal or Colorado state law obligates you to speak to a claims adjuster. It is in your best interest to put off the phone call if you are disoriented, upset or in severe pain after a car accident. You have the liberty to postpone the phone call until you are more prepared. You also have the right to hire a car accident attorney to take care of insurance negotiations on your behalf.
The recorded statement will not be used for anything that will benefit you as a claimant. The sole purpose of asking you for a recorded statement is to get you on the record saying something the insurance carrier can twist around to use against you. If you say you weren’t injured in the car accident in your recorded statement, for example, but start noticing symptoms and get diagnosed with an injury later, the insurance company can use your original statement to deny benefits.
Another common way insurance companies use recorded statements is to get you to slip up and make a mistake. This is why an insurer will often request a statement right away, before you fully understand the details of the crash. The insurer wants you to misrepresent a fact, so you appear to be an unreliable witness.
No law in Colorado requires you to give a recorded statement to an insurance company. The best thing you can do for your car insurance claim is to say no when asked for a statement over the phone. Do not give in to pressure from the claims adjuster to provide a statement, even if the adjuster says he or she cannot process your claim without it.
When asked for a statement, politely decline to give your permission and state that you will submit a written statement to the insurance company with your attorney at a later date instead. This is an acceptable alternative to giving a recorded statement and will allow you time to carefully construct a statement in a way that will not hurt your case.
Car insurance companies are calculating and intentional in how they handle claims. Their main goal is to save money and profit their investors. They have extensive experience phrasing questions and dealing with clients in a way that optimizes the odds of the claimant making a mistake and accepting less than he or she deserves. The best way to protect yourself from insurance tactics is to hire an attorney.
A personal injury lawyer in Denver can take care of the claims process for you, including conversations with insurance claims adjusters. Your lawyer can prevent you from saying the wrong thing to an adjuster or agreeing to something that could hurt your claim. Your lawyer can help you prepare a written statement to submit to the insurance company instead of giving a recorded statement. To learn more about the car accident insurance process in Colorado, contact The Fang Law Firm today.