4 Tips on Giving Recorded Statements in an Car Accident or Slip and Fall Case – Columbus, Georgia Lawyer Mark Jones
Oftentimes insurance adjusters will request that Lawyer Mark Jones’ Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama clients provide a recorded statement to them regarding the injuries he/she received in a car wreck or slip and fall claim. One issue that arises is whether to give a recorded statement.
(1) There is no requirement to provide a recorded statement to a liability adjuster
In Georgia and Alabama, prior to the filing of a lawsuit, there is no requirement for a client injured in a car accident or slip and fall to provide a recorded statement to the liability insurance carrier. In the context of uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, there may be a requirement to cooperate with your insurance carrier and provide a statement. Whether you must provide one in the uninsured motorist context depends on the law of your jurisdiction and the policy language. Consult with an experienced attorney like Lawyer Mark Jones in that regard.
(2) Providing a Statement to the Insurance Company Is Rarely Beneficial to Your Claim.
Lawyer Mark Jones has had maybe 2 cases where the provision of a recorded statement was beneficial. Each of those happened to be with the same adjuster who was simply trying to get the case resolved and had to have the statement to placate management. In theory a recorded statement could also allow you to discuss insurance at trial if the defense attorney introduced the recorded statement, since the recorded statement would necessarily mention insurance. Under the rules of evidence, when a party introduces part of a document at trial, the opposing party can introduce the entire document into evidence. Otherwise, there is no benefit to providing such a statement. It only hurts your case because these statements are often requested very early on in your case when you do not know the extent of your injuries.
(3) Never Give a Recorded Statement Without Your Lawyer Present
The lawyer can keep the adjuster in line during the statement. There are essentially no rules in such a statement so adjusters overreach in those situations. They may ask for highly confidential information such as past medical history, social security numbers, or similar “nunya” info. The adjuster will ask for a “blow-by-blow” recount, which is generally not advisable since most wrecks or slip and falls happen in a matter of seconds. Thus giving a recorded statement is a very bad idea in your case. Most experienced personal injury lawyers will not permit liability adjusters to conduct a recorded statement of their client.
(4) If You Are Committed to Giving a Statement Ask that it be Unrecorded
Oftentimes the adjuster will accommodate you here if you request that the statement not be recorded. This may be a good compromise if the insurance adjuster insists on a recorded statement and you are going against your lawyer’s advice and decide to give one.
If you have been hurt in a car wreck or slip and fall and the adjuster is requesting, please call or text Lawyer Mark Jones to further discuss your rights for free at 706-225-2555.
Easter Egg: attached is an example of an adjuster’s recorded statement script for a slip and fall claim.[gview file=”http://www.lawyermarkjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Recorded-Statement-Questions.doc”]