If you were in an accident another driver caused, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company may ask you to make a statement on how the crash happened. If you give a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a car wreck, you may later receive a denial for your accident claim.
The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, do not recommend giving a statement to the other driver’s insurer. If you do, the insurance company can use your own words against you and hurt your chances of recovering compensation. When an auto insurer has questions for you, let a lawyer answer them instead.
We know the tactics insurance companies use and reasons they give to deny claims or reduce claim payouts. To learn more about how we can help you with your Tennessee accident claim, call us at 865-546-1111 and schedule a free consultation. We will serve as your legal representatives as you pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages from your accident.
Why Would an Insurance Company Want Me to Make a Statement?
Insurance companies want to avoid paying claims. If an insurance adjuster finds inconsistencies in your statements or something that implies you contributed to the accident, they can use it as a reason to reduce or possibly deny your claim.
For instance, the adjuster may compare the statement you gave the insurance company to your statement in the police report or to statements you made to the at-fault driver. If an adjuster finds any conflicting details in your multiple statements, they might question your credibility and threaten to deny your claim unless you explain the differences. We suggest you do not provide additional details without speaking to an attorney.
What If the Insurance Company Wants to Settle My Claim Quickly After I Make a Statement?
We would advise you not to settle too quickly—or make a statement—because you may have symptoms of injuries that have not yet manifested. The shock and confusion of an accident can mask an injury. You may feel okay immediately after an accident, but experience pain hours or days later. An insurance company will not take into account injuries you did not note in your claim because the symptoms developed later.
In Tennessee, you have a limited amount of time after the date of your accident to claim injury. While you do not want to wait too long to file a claim, you also do not want to settle so fast that you miss the opportunity to recover the full compensation you deserve. We suggest you talk to a lawyer before making a statement or accepting a quick settlement.
Can I Have an Attorney With Me If I Make a Statement?
Yes, you may have an attorney present if you decide to make a statement, even though an insurance adjuster may discourage you from retaining legal representation. Having one of our attorneys with you benefits your case because we know the traps adjusters set for claimants by asking trick questions. We can answer a question on your behalf or ask the adjuster to rephrase it so you can answer for yourself.
What If I Choose to Do This on My Own?
The decision to give a statement to an insurance company is yours to make. However, if you choose to do so, there are some steps you can take to protect your right to a fair settlement amount.
Do not allow an insurance adjuster to record your statement. The adjuster may use your statement to harm your claim. Offer to provide a written statement instead. If you allow an insurer to record your statement, we recommend you bring a tape recorder as well, so you will have a copy of your own.
Do not give additional information. If you think of something that you did not tell police at the accident scene, do not tell an insurance adjuster while making your statement. The adjuster might think that you are providing more information in hopes of getting a higher payout.
If you do not understand a question, ask the insurer to pose the question in a different way.
Do not make a statement while taking prescription pain-relieving medication that makes you drowsy, affects your memory, or prevents you from thinking clearly.
Be firm, but do not argue.
We Can Help You With Your Claim.
You can depend on the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, to protect your rights as you pursue compensation for your car accident. Call us now at 865-546-1111 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We handle all aspects of your case—from filing a claim or lawsuit to negotiating a fair settlement amount. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we do not receive payment from you unless we collect compensation on your behalf.