Take care about recorded statements after a car crash

You didn't expect to get into a car crash, potentially caused by the other driver, but it suddenly happened. Despite your injuries and the damage to your vehicle, you survived. You may have felt grateful to have good car insurance to cover your losses, including the price of repairing or replacing your vehicle, your medical costs due to your injuries and the lost wages that could result from an accident. You probably submitted images of the crash on an app or online shortly after the crash.

However, your insurance company's claims process is far from over, and you're in a precarious position until your claim gets paid. In general, your own insurance company likely has a clause in your contract requiring you to submit a recorded statement about the facts of the crash in the event of a major claim. Before you sit down with an insurance adjuster, be sure to adequately prepare yourself.

Insurance companies want to limit their payouts and liability

When you speak with law enforcement and your insurance company after a crash or collision, you should be very wary about statements that could seem like admissions of fault or guilt. Apologizing, for example, could end up considered proof of at least partial responsibility for the crash.

You should also listen carefully to the tone and context of all questions to ensure you aren't implicating yourself. Your insurance company may look for any excuse to deny or limit a claim. For many people, having outside help during or before the interview can make the process go more smoothly.

Sometimes, however, the insurance company from the other driver is the one requesting a recorded statement. In general, you should refuse to give one, especially without your own legal representation.

While the law and your policy contract likely require you to cooperate with your own insurance company, you do not have to agree to a recorded statement with the other involved insurance company. They will almost certainly ask leading questions and attempt to assign some of the blame for the crash to you.

Recorded statements could impact your settlement or lawsuit

Anything you say on the record, even if it's after several boring hours of repeatedly answering similar questions over and over, could be used against you. An insurance company could use a recorded statement in defense of a refusal to pay out on a claim or as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit related to your crash.

Even if it's a single sentence that contradicts the accurate version of the story, small mistakes during a recorded statement interview could impact your ability to get the compensation you deserve after a serious motor vehicle crash.

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