Giving Statements and Signing Forms for Insurance Companies
Giving a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurer can harm your personal injury claim for several reasons.
One thing above all else that you must understand about insurance companies is that they are in business to make money. It is the job of the insurance adjuster to make sure that happens. So, no matter how friendly an adjuster may seem to you, remember the adjuster is on the lookout for information that he can use to impeach your credibility and pay you less money for your claim.
When the adjuster takes your statement, he will be prepared, he will have reviewed any police reports, witness statements and photos, he will have a plan, and he will be experienced in taking recorded statements.
In addition, the adjuster will probably attempt to take your statement within a few days of the accident and before you hire an attorney.
On the other hand, it is not likely you will be prepared when the adjuster takes your statement. You may be in severe pain, on pain medication, you probably will not have reviewed any documents, reports or photos, and you will not have carefully considered the circumstances of the accident.
Once your statement is taken, the insurer will have a permanent record that it will use to compare to any of your subsequent statements, other witness statements, and, if there are any inconsistencies, to impeach your credibility. Some of your subsequent statements may include statements to your doctor, police reports, interrogatories, and deposition and trial testimony.
At the very least, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before giving such a statement.
Signing Forms for the Insurance Company
You should not sign any forms for an insurance company. These forms usually allow the insurance company to obtain your medical records relating to treatment you underwent for injuries you suffered in the accident AND your past medical records. Some forms have no limitation on how far back they can go.
In addition, some of these forms allow the insurer to obtain information about you from present and past employers.
Your Insurance Company
One exception to giving statements to insurance companies or signing forms occurs when you pursue a personal injury claim following a car accident. You are required to cooperate with your OWN insurance company.
Call Now For A Free Consultation
If you want more information about personal injury claims, contact Attorney Bob Allison today by calling 978-740-9433 or fill out our contact form. You will receive a free consultation to review your claim.