Victims are often advised to contact their insurance providers as soon as possible after a car accident. During the claims process, some insurers may ask to record phone conversations as a way of “fact-checking” the call. While this may seem like a formality, giving a recorded statement is one of the most common mistakes people make after a crash—and it can do real damage to an injury claim.
The Real Reason Insurers Want Recorded Statements After a Crash
Insurance companies may claim to protect their policyholders, but the truth is they will always place their own interests above those of their clients. Your recorded statement can be used to process your claim, but it can also be used to:
Gather information against you.
When you give a recorded statement, you are allowing the insurance company to use anything you say to calculate your settlement—whether it is relevant to the claim or not. Chatting openly during the call is a bad idea. Even innocent remarks such as mentioning an upcoming vacation you plan to take can lead an insurer to believe you are not badly hurt.
Convince you to accept a low offer.
Insurance companies often attempt to settle claims quickly, which they may say is convenient for victims. The truth is, many people do not seek legal help immediately after an accident and are unaware of their rights. They also do not know the full extent of their injuries and are likely to accept any payment that allows them to pay down mounting medical bills.
Gain details that may not be true.
Insurers will often ask victims a variety of questions about the crash, asking them to make an estimation of details even if they don’t know the facts. Victims who are still reeling with the shock of the accident may not be able to remember how fast they were going or the posted speed limit, and making a guess on these numbers is often more damaging than simply saying “I don’t know.”
It is important to remember that there is no law that requires an accident victim to give an insurance company a recorded statement. If you must speak to an insurance representative after a car crash, always keep your responses short and to the point.