After a car accident,

should I give a statement to the other driver's insurer?

After a car accident, should I give a statement to the other driver’s insurer?

auto-accidentWhen you are injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence you will likely be asked by the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make a statement about the wreck and your injuries. If you have hired an attorney to represent you, you should make your attorney aware that you have been asked to give a statement.

If you do not have an attorney, the decision to give a recorded statement to any insurance representative should be made with careful consideration.  You are not required to give your recorded statement, and there are many factors to consider, such as:  who is taking the statement, what information is the person trying to discover, and what benefit will you receive from allowing your statement to be recorded.

If you make the decision to give your recorded statement, it may be wise to schedule a specific appointment time so that you can avoid distractions, and be completely focused on what questions are being asked.  Then, before this appointment, it is often a good idea to write out everything you remember about what happened in the accident.  It is important to take plenty of time to make your best recollection, and then convey that recollection as clearly, briefly, and accurately as possible.

If you are asked about injuries you suffered as a result of the accident, describe your symptoms in detail. Do not list your diagnoses. You are not your doctor and you likely have not reviewed all of your medical records. If you respond by trying to remember the different diagnoses your doctor may have discussed with you, you may end up leaving something out or misstating the injury or treatment. To give the most complete answer, state your physical symptoms. For example, instead of saying “I have a back strain” you might say “I have sharp stabbing pains, and a burning sensation, in my back and neck every day.” or “I have difficulty turning my head without pain.”

If you decide to give a recorded statement, and you are unsure about any question you are asked, don’t hesitate to ask the insurance adjuster to rephrase their question so that you clearly understand what they are asking. Also, if you become uncomfortable with any questions, politely notify them that you are going to respectfully decline to answer that question.

Finally, if you decide to give a recorded statement, be sure to first get their agreement on the recording to send you a full and complete copy of your statement after it’s completed.