Recorded statements are not required in a car accident claim unless it is your own insurer. If the at-fault party’s insurance company approaches you asking for a statement, you are not required to speak with them and you can hire a lawyer to review the crash and discuss your next steps.
The Insurer May Not Want to Pay
Even if the insured is obviously responsible for your collision, the insurance company may want to pay you as little as possible.
If you provide a statement, you may enable the at-fault’s insurance adjuster to:
- Use against you any minor omission or inconsistency in your testimony
- Interpret your statement in ways you did not intend
What Can I Do Instead of Giving a Statement?
When the at-fault insurance company contacts you seeking a recorded statement, you may not want to respond until you have consulted a lawyer. Many law firms allow prospective clients to call and receive a free case review. This practice makes it easy to learn more about your rights when speaking with insurance companies.
An attorney can help you deal with the liable party’s insurance company by:
- Always speaking to it on your behalf
- Contacting you with any settlement offers the insurer makes
- Negotiating for a settlement
- Handling all necessary paperwork
- Calculating how much money you need to cover all injuries and damages
- Answering any questions you have about the insurance company’s requests or statements
- Collecting evidence from all available sources to corroborate your story and prove the liable party’s identity and fault
- Preparing and presenting your case in court if necessary
- Helping you evaluate your options
Can I File with My Insurer?
Page 3 of the Ohio Department of Insurance’s Guide to Automobile Insurance lays out a policyholder’s rights and obligations. These include:
- Purchasing at least the minimum required insurance
- Filing a timely claim after an accident
- Cooperating with any investigation regarding the accident
- Advising the insurer if you plan to file a lawsuit
Ohio is not a no-fault state, meaning you will only get compensation once the insurance companies determine liability for the accident. Then, the liable party’s insurer pays damages.
If a representative from your insurance company asks for a statement, you must cooperate or risk denial of your claim. However, you do not have to speak to an adjuster alone. A lawyer can help protect your rights by accompanying you to countenances with an insurance adjuster.
How Statements Can Help Your Case
A car accident lawyer can help you get statements from:
- Witnesses: Were there other people on the street or in nearby buildings who saw all or part of your accident? Your lawyer can track down and speak with these witnesses so they can confirm your version of events.
- Friends and loved ones: The people who know you best have seen the accident’s effects on your life first-hand. They can speak to what injuries you sustained and how they have altered your health.
- Relevant experts: Your lawyer may have connections with doctors, economists, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals. These experts can examine your case and provide statements confirming that the liable party caused the accident and your injuries.
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No matter what an at-fault insurance adjuster may imply, recorded statements are not required in a car accident claim. The Fitch Law Firm LLC can deal with the liable party’s insurance company on your behalf. Call today at (614) 545-3930 for a free case review. As Lorie Mynhier, one of our satisfied clients, put it, we let you focus on recovery “while taking away all my worries about all the legal stuff.”