In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you will report the accident to your insurance company, and the other driver will contact theirs. Notifying your insurance company of the accident is part of your agreement with your insurance company, and once this notification is made, your insurance company will immediately begin working on processing your claim. Within a day, you may hear from the insurance adjuster for the other driver. These adjusters are trained to be caring, polite, and concerned, and want to help you and support you. And at some point, they will likely ask you for a recorded statement.
You Are Not Required to Give a Recorded Statement
The recorded statement is used by the insurance company to assemble information about your accident. It may not be made clear at the time, but this statement you give is later transcribed and used as a written document, which means things you say casually maybe later presented as statements of fact. It is common for specific questions to be asked which you may not have concrete answers to, leading you to speculate or say “I think.” Almost every personal injury attorney will tell you that providing a recorded statement is not in your best interests and is not required or recommended.
Why Providing a Statement is NOT In Your Best Interest
You may feel that you have nothing to hide, that if the accident was not your fault, there is no harm In providing the insurance company what they’re asking for. However, it is important to understand how your statement will be used:
- Inconsistencies: Your recorded statements will be compared with anything you said to police or law enforcement agencies. You may be later asked, “why did you say such and such happened here when you told a different version earlier?
- Questioning the Severity of your Injuries: You may be asked questions like “where did you feel pain? or “what part of your body hit the interior of the car?” Your answers to these questions may be used to discredit you later.
- Obtaining Too Much Information: Remember that the claims adjuster will act like your friend, but is paid and incentivized to resolve your claim for as little as possible. For example, they may casually ask you if you’ve ever hurt your back before. If you answer truthfully, a back injury you had 15 years ago could be used to devalue a very real back injury you suffered in a car accident.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
Before you provide a recorded statement in your South Carolina car accident case, call the Jeffcoat Firm. We are available to help you protect your rights and recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
Firm founder Michael Jeffcoat takes pride in having built a law firm that embodies his commitment to helping people who have been injured or wronged. After receiving a B.A. degree in Political Economy and Philosophy at Wofford College in 1994, Jeffcoat went straight to the University of South Carolina School of Law. While there, in addition to his studies, he participated in Moot Court, the University’s trial competition, clerked in two U.S. Attorney’s Offices (Columbia and Seattle) and also the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Jeffcoat completed his Juris Doctor degree in 1997.