Recorded Statements: Should You Give One?

Having just represented two clients today during their recorded statements, it seemed like a good time to discuss this important topic.

This morning, after already fighting to get my client the maximum proceeds from the other driver’s policy, which was difficult (his company denied the case, saying that the collision was unavoidable because he suffered a seizure after taking his heart medicines and he was racing to his doctor; I disproved that defense, settled the case for full value, then worked to get the District Attorney’s office to file criminal charges against the driver for DUI, I then helped this very nice woman obtain more money from her underinsured motorist policy.

And this afternoon, a young man who was rear-ended last Friday at a high rate of speed on I-20 in Arlington did a great job in his uninsured motorist policy statement (a pick up truck crashed into the vehicle behind him, causing a chain collision, then fled the scene; he is seriously injured and he has a lacerated kidney and other injuries).

A policyholder is legally required to cooperate with his or her own insurance company or I never would have consented to the interrogations.

But if another driver is at fault, I never allow these recorded statements, and you shouldn’t either, especially if you aren’t represented by an attorney. The old adage is true: anything you say can and will be used against you. I’ve had to listen to these tapes during trials and they can be harmful, even ruinous, to the case.

If you speak to a claims adjuster, you will rarely if ever improve the monetary value of your claim. And mistakes can be very costly. The adjuster is a licensed professional who does this every day and is being paid to save his company money. I’ve seen an innocent question like “How are you doing today?” that is politely answered with “Fine,” to be twisted later to say that the client was not experiencing any pain after the crash and should not be compensated.

Furthermore, the questions can be vague and misleading. Unless you are a medical professional, you may not even understand what injuries you have. Failure to mention a forgotten fender bender from many years ago will give the insurance company the ammunition to later say you were not truthful.

Clearly the insurance company wants your recorded statement in order to help minimize or defeat your claim. And it wants to do this ASAP before you have had the opportunity to wise up and get legal representation.

Please contact an experienced Dallas Fort Worth personal injury attorney to set up your free consultation so I can start getting you the money you deserve!

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