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What Should I Do If Asked to Give a Statement After an Accident?

If the other driver’s insurer asks you for a statement after the accident, remember that you are not required to provide them with one. It is best to let a skilled attorney handle further communications if they want a statement. 

When speaking to insurance companies, many car accident victims accidentally say things – or worse, are tricked into saying things – the insurance adjuster can later use to devalue or reject their claim. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will understand how to provide them with a statement that can satisfy their need to know specific details without negatively affecting your case.

Why Would the Other Person’s Insurance Company Want a Recorded Statement?

Information is a highly valuable resource in the aftermath of a car accident. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out a single cent they don’t have to. They are constantly seeking information that can allow them to protect their bottom lines. By asking a car accident victim for a statement, they are looking for a way to spin the narrative of what led up to the collision and suggest the claimant’s own actions might have contributed in any way.

Do I Have to Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?

If the other driver’s insurance company calls or writes to you to request a recorded statement, you are under no obligation to provide them with one. It is essential that you remember this fact because insurance adjusters can put a great deal of pressure on claimants. They may even lead you to believe that you will be ineligible for compensation if you do not give them the information they are requesting. Or they might tell you that giving them a recorded statement will speed up the process. However, you always have the right to decline their request and allow an attorney to handle communications with them.

When speaking to the other party’s insurance company, you should only provide them with basic information such as:

  • Your name
  • Your vehicle information (make, model, license plate number)
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The location of the accident
  • The names of any passengers who were in your vehicle

You have no obligation to tell them how or why the accident happened or speculate about who was at fault.

Will They Use My Statement Against Me?

Insurance adjusters often frame their phone conversations as “courtesy calls” to see how the claimant is feeling after the accident. While they may pretend to care about you and what you are experiencing, you must remember that they are highly trained professionals who can employ several tactics to use your statement to reduce the value of your claim.

For example, if you use apologetic language during your conversation, they can present it as an admission of fault in the accident. Even saying the words “I’m sorry” at any point or mentioning that you wish you had done something differently in the lead-up to the crash can give them ammunition to argue that you were partially or fully liable for the collision.

Alternatively, the insurance adjuster can closely scrutinize the language of your statement to look for inconsistencies or errors. Some unethical adjusters have even taken certain sections of injury victims’ statements out of context to undermine the claimant’s credibility.

The insurance adjuster could also use your statement to dispute the nature or severity of your car accident injuries. For example, they may ask how you are at the beginning of a conversation, and you may automatically respond, “I’m fine.” They might later insist that you must not be as injured as you have claimed elsewhere.

What Should I Do If My Insurance Company Asks for a Statement?

Most auto insurance policies require holders to give statements after an accident. You should carefully check the language of your policy to determine whether this is the case. If you need to provide a statement, you should still be careful about what you tell them. Even though it is your own insurance company, you are probably safest assuming they do not have your best interests at heart. In fact, they might also look for ways to assign blame for the accident to you so that they can raise your insurance premiums.

As with the other party’s insurance company, you should consult with an experienced Georgia car accident attorney before giving a statement to your own insurer. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you know what to say and what to avoid saying to protect your best interests.

What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been in a Car Accident in Georgia?

You deserve fair compensation after a car accident in Georgia that someone else caused. However, the steps you take in the days and weeks after the crash can make all the difference in your fight to get it. You can help your case by:

  • Following your doctor’s treatment plan to optimize your physical recovery
  • Saving all medical records for proof of your injuries and medical expenses
  • Collecting documents pertaining to lost income from missed time at work, such as pay slips, W-2s, and letters from your HR department
  • Enlisting the services of an experienced Duluth car accident lawyer who can handle every aspect of your case while you focus on healing

Contact a Duluth Car Accident Lawyer

Life after a car accident can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you don’t know what to do and what to avoid. When the stakes are so high, you need the support and advocacy of an experienced legal professional who can guide you through the challenges you are facing.

The experienced Duluth car accident lawyers at Kevin A. Adamson, P.C. are dedicated to helping injured Georgians secure the compensation they deserve. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys can investigate the accident, calculate the total value of your losses, and negotiate aggressively with the insurance company for a fair settlement. If necessary, we will take the at-fault party to court to demand your full financial recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.