Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the Adjuster?
Here’s the short answer: NO!
And, the long answer: If you’ve been in an accident involving a car, you’re probably dealing with two different insurance companies – your own insurance company, which is paying your medical bills through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, and the liability insurance company (the insurance company for the driver who hit you).
You should never give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the person who hit you. It will only be used against you. Insurance companies will use that recording for one purpose, and one purpose only: to reduce the amount of money they pay you. And you have the right to say NO to this adjuster unless they get a court order (which is rare).
For your own insurance, you will need to decide if you want to give a recorded statement to your PIP adjuster. If you do not give one, they do not have to keep paying your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, which many people need to seek necessary medical care. The truth is that you will usually need to give a recorded statement to your own insurance if they ask for it – but this is less common than the other person’s insurance asking for one.
If the insurance company of the person who hit you asks for a recorded statement, consider asking them a few of the following questions first:
- Will you admit in writing that the accident was not my fault?
- How much insurance does the person who hit me have?
- Will you give me a copy of the recorded statement that you have already taken from the person who caused this accident?
- Will you promise in writing to give me a copy of any statements you get from witnesses?
- If I sign your medical releases, will you put in writing that you will immediately give me a copy of everything that you obtain?
- How much money have you set aside in reserves for my claim?
- Have you done any video surveillance of me?
- Will you promise in writing that you will not do any video surveillance of me or that you will tell me before you do?
- What financial information have you already obtained about me?
- Which of my neighbors have you already interviewed?
The truth is that the insurance company of the person who hit you will probably not answer even one of these questions – think about that before you start to answer theirs.
Many people think, “I’m just going to tell the truth; that can’t hurt me.” Well, of course you’re going to tell the truth! But here’s the question you should be asking: “Can letting them record my statement possibly help me?” The answer is no. It quite literally cannot help you. The Rules of Evidence usually only allow an injured person’s recorded statement to the insurance adjuster to be used to contradict things that the injured person says at trial.
We have seen a person’s truthful recorded statement used against them many times. We have never seen it help. Giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster for the other person’s insurance is a bad idea, and if they insist, consider hiring an attorney – your attorney can often walk you through the process.
If your insurance company pulls this trick with you, they may be leaving you with no option but to get a personal injury lawyer in Portland. If you do decide to give your own insurance company a recorded statement – and we don’t advise it! – but if you must, then at least get it in writing that they will not share your recorded statement with the other side. If they refuse, ask them who’s side they’re on, after taking your monthly premiums so happily for all these years.