Posted by callgentry |
After an accident, an insurance adjuster might reach out to you and ask for a recorded statement. At Call & Gentry Law Group, LLC, we strongly recommend that you avoid doing so. Although there will come a time for you to share your version of what happened, you should ideally have a lawyer sitting by your side. Below, our personal injury attorney in Jefferson City explains why recorded statements are a bad idea.
The Insurer is Probably Digging for Information
The insurer has several reasons for asking you to give a statement. First, they are genuinely curious about what happened. You are a witness to your accident, so you have critical information to share.
Second, however, most adjusters are probably digging for information to use against you. Missouri recognizes comparative negligence, which means you could be partially to blame for your accident. Imagine two cars colliding at an intersection. The other driver ran a red light. However, you also made a turn while staring at your cell phone, so you didn’t see the other car hurtling toward you. In this example, neither side is 100% blameless, so you both share some degree of fault.
Missouri’s comparative negligence law, however, will reduce your compensation by your percentage of blame. So if you are 50% at fault, the defendant will only need to pay 50% of your damages. That creates a powerful incentive to find mistakes you made behind the wheel, and that’s usually what they are digging for.
Some statements sound innocent but might get twisted out of context:
- Any statement that you were running late or in a hurry could be introduced to show you were distracted or speeding.
- A statement that you didn’t see the other driver could be used to argue you weren’t paying attention to your surroundings.
- Contradictory or conflicting statements might be used to show you are confused about the facts or dishonest.
An Adjuster Can Use Your Statements in a Lawsuit
Generally, lawyers can’t introduce out-of-court statements in a lawsuit. But there’s a big exception if you are a party to the lawsuit, like the plaintiff or defendant. In that situation, out-of-court statements are allowed in.
So if you make a statement that sounds like you are accepting some blame for the crash, then the other driver’s legal team will jump at the chance to introduce your statements. That can make winning a lawsuit much harder.
Your Attorney Can Clear Up Any Confusion
If you have one of our lawyers sitting beside you, then we can make sure that your words don’t get wrenched out of context or let a crafty lawyer trip you up. Instead, we can clarify confusing questions or ask you to clarify an answer you gave. With us by your side, we can head off any attempt to trick you into saying something you don’t mean.
We Can Handle All Insurance Inquiries
Recovering from an accident is a full-time job. No one in pain needs to deal with the hassle of a recorded statement. Call our law firm to speak with our personal injury lawyer. We can act as the intermediary between you and insurance adjusters, shielding you from their probing questions.