If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, their insurance company will conduct an investigation into the crash after they are notified of it by their insured. You should not be surprised if they call within a few days of your collision—even before you are discharged from the hospital.
The insurance adjuster may sound nice and caring, but you must remember that they work for the other motorist’s insurance company. You should be wary if they ask you to give a recorded statement. Here is how agreeing to give one could seriously weaken your claim and force you to accept less compensation than you deserve.
What Is a Recorded Statement?
A recorded statement is a question-and-answer session conducted by the insurance adjuster. It is often done over the telephone but could also be completed in person. The insurance adjuster would tape-record the session and have the recorded statement transcribed into a written document.
Why Does the Insurance Company Want to Take Your Recorded Statement?
The insurance adjuster may claim that they need to take your recorded statement as part of their investigation. However, this is not true.
The insurance company is a business. They are trying to save their employer money by denying your claim or convincing you to accept less compensation than you deserve. One way they do this is to get you to agree to give them a recorded statement and then use your answers against you.
How Giving a Recorded Statement Can Weaken Your Case
Even if you were not at all at fault for causing your bicycle accident and have nothing to hide, you could say something that hurts your claim and forces you to accept less money than you would otherwise receive if you did not agree to give a recorded statement. Here are ways a recorded statement could damage your case:
- Statements used against you. Any statements you make in your recorded statement could be used against you in settlement negotiations or in court. This could make it take longer to settle your claim.
- Inconsistent statements. Even if you are careful, you could make inconsistent statements with ones you gave to the police, your doctors, or the insurance company. The insurance adjuster would compare the answers you gave in a recorded statement to other ones you made. If there were any inconsistencies, they would use them to argue that you are being untruthful or would not be a credible witness at a jury trial.
- Confusing questions. The insurance adjuster is skilled in asking confusing questions designed to get you to answer in a specific way. No matter how careful you are, you could give an answer that makes it appear that you were partially at fault or that your injuries are not very serious.
- Incomplete information about your injuries. The insurance company would want to take your recorded statement soon after your bicycle accident occurred. They would ask you questions about your injuries as well as how your crash occurred. Unfortunately, any answers you would give about your injuries would be incomplete because you would not know how serious they are or the treatments you could need until months or longer after your collision.
Do You Have to Give a Recorded Statement?
The insurance adjuster may make it sound like you must give a recorded statement in order to settle your claim. However, you are under no obligation to give a recorded statement in order to reach an agreement with the insurance company or to litigate your claim if they refuse to be reasonable.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Adjuster Asks You to Give a Recorded Statement?
You should politely say no if the insurance company wants you to give them a recorded statement. It should also be a red flag that they most likely will not treat you fairly in settlement negotiations. You should retain an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible and let them handle all communications with the insurance company.
Were you hurt in a bicycle accident in Southern California or San Diego? I can file your claim and negotiate with the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve. Fill out my online form or start a live chat to schedule your free initial consultation today.