One of the questions we often get is whether or not an individual should submit themselves to a recorded statement with an insurance adjuster. The answer is that it really depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.
What to Include in a Recorded Statement
When providing a recorded statement, we encourage clients to first and foremost be truthful. If you provide inconsistent information, the insurance company lawyers will try and use that information to impeach your credibility at a later date. We further tell our clients to only answer the question asked, nothing more, nothing less.
We further suggest that you keep your answers to each question short. While one may want to cooperate and volunteer information, this can not only lead to a longer interview process, but allows the insurance adjustor to dig deeper than they might otherwise.
Further avoid speaking in absolutes. Use the words “about” or “approximately” when discussing time, rates of speed or other information. That way, if the information turns out to be different than you recalled, you have left yourself some room to work with should your case proceed to a lawsuit and trial.
What Are My Legal Rights?
When being asked questions, you have an absolute right to understand the questions posed. If you do not understand a question, ask the adjuster to rephrase or clarify it. If the adjuster cannot ask the question in an understandable manner, do not answer it.
Do not guess about any information. Only provide information of which you are personally aware. If a particular question would require you to guess, let the adjuster know that you would have to guess and cannot otherwise answer the question.
Given it is a recorded statement, you are equally entitled to record it. Just let the adjuster know that you are from the outset. Further ask that the adjustor provide his or her name and contact information. This may come in handy should your counsel later need to subpoena the claims file.
What Are Some Common Questions?
With those guidelines in mind, following are examples of questions commonly asked by insurance adjustors when taking recorded statements. These statements are for the most part scripted and the questions below are typical of those you might see in any initial interview with the insurance adjustor.
- Please state and spell your full name?
- Do you understand that this interview is being recorded?
- Is it being recorded with your permission?
- If I need to share the information with another adjuster or attorney, may I do so?
- What is your address and telephone number?
- What is your date of birth?
- What is the year, make and model of the vehicle you were driving?
- Are you the registered owner of that vehicle?
- Were you using the vehicle for any type of business or government use?
- Were there any minors or passengers in the vehicle with you?
- What was the date of your accident?
- Around what time?
- How many vehicles were involved?
- What street did this happen on?
- Was the weather a factor in the accident?
- Was the traffic light, moderate or heavy?
- What happened?
- What type of damage was done to your vehicle?
- Do you know what type of damage was done to the other vehicles?
- Was there any type of evasive action that was able to be taken to avoid the accident?
- Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Were you using a cell phone or any other electronic devices?
- Was anything obstructing your vision?
- Do you know how fast the other party was going?
- Do you know what the speed limit is on that road?
- Was your vehicle towed?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt?
- Did your airbag deploy?
- Were the police called to the scene?
- Was there a report taken?
- Do you have the report number?
- Was a ticket or citation issued?
- Were the vehicles moved before the police arrived?
- Did the police take statements from the drivers?
- Were there any witnesses that saw the accident?
- Do you have the witnesses’ contact information?
- Was there property damage to street signs, poles or anything else?
- Were you injured in the accident?
- What type of injuries did you sustain?
- At the moment of the impact, were you thrown forward, backward or sideways?
- Did any part of your body make contact with the vehicle?
- Was there any ringing in your ears or popping in your jaw?
- Did you have any deep cuts or lacerations?
- Was there any emergency treatment performed at the scene?
- Were you taken to the hospital?
- What hospital did you go to?
- Were you transported by ambulance?
- What treatment have you received since the accident?
- Do you know the name of your doctor?
- What type of treatment plan are you currently on?
- Are you taking any medication?
- If you can rate the pain that you feel now, 10 being the worst, 1 being the least, how would you rate your pain?
- Did you have any prior injuries that could have resurfaced because of the accident?
- Do you know the total amount of your medical bills to date?
- How much time did you miss from work?
- Where do you work?
- What is your position there?
- Are there any physical requirements for your position?
- What is the name of your immediate supervisor?
- Do you know a phone number for your supervisor?
- Are you paid hourly or salary?
- How many hours do you work per week?
- What is your salary?
- Do you make any type of commissions or bonuses?
- How long have you worked there?
- What type of medical benefits do you receive?
- Do you know if any of the other parties in the other vehicle were injured?
- Is there anything in reference to the accident that you would like to add that we have not discussed that we should know about?
- Have you understood all these questions?
- Is this recording true and correct to the best of your knowledge?
- Has this recording been made with your knowledge and consent?
- Would you state your name again please?
If you have any further questions about recorded statements, insurance matters, or would like to discuss a personal injury claim, please get in touch with our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys.
We offer free case consultations to help get you started.