When you’re involved in an accident, both your own insurance adjuster and the other driver’s insurance adjuster are going to want your statement regarding what happened. The difference is that the other driver’s insurance adjuster will want this statement to be recorded.
It’s always best to avoid providing any recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance adjuster after a car accident. Understand that while the adjuster may make it seem like he wants to get to the bottom of what happened, in reality he represents the other driver. His job is to keep the amount of money his insurance company pays out to an absolute minimum. This means that he wants to find evidence he can use against you, to weaken your claim so his own driver is considered less at fault or even to deny your claim altogether.
So, we’ve established that the other driver’s insurance adjuster is working against you. The question now becomes what purpose does it serve to provide this person with a recorded statement? Once the adjuster has your recorded statement, he can do whatever he wants with it. He could use it as evidence, or he could file it away and not do anything with it. Since he’s working for the other side, he’s not going to use anything from your statement that helps your claim. He’s going to pick and choose statements that weaken your case. It’s essentially a lose-lose situation for you. The best case scenario is that he doesn’t find anything to use against you in your statement, in which case you wasted your time providing it. It’s far more likely that he does find something, though.
Don’t think that you have nothing to fear because you’re just going to tell the truth. Telling the truth has led to many drivers getting their claims unjustly denied. The insurance adjuster may act friendly with you while you’re making your statement, but he’s actually working against you the entire time. He will try to trip you up and trick you with the questions he asks and the statements he makes. For example, he may say “It sounds like you were going pretty fast” off-hand. If you say “Uh-huh” or any other sort of affirmative response, the adjuster now has something on you.
Even if you don’t admit to any wrongdoing in your recorded statement, the adjuster will be comparing what you said in that statement to any other previous statements that you made, such as statements to a police officer or emergency room personnel. If he finds any inconsistencies, he will use them against you. In the even that you end up in court for your accident, the other driver’s attorney can use your recorded statement while cross examining you. Considering you’ll have made that statement months ago by that point, it would be very easy to contradict yourself or have slight inconsistencies in your stories, but any of these can make your testimony seem unreliable.
It’s far less common for an insurance adjuster from your own insurance company to ask that you give a recorded statement. If he does, you will likely need to agree to this request for your insurance to keep paying on your claim. You should still double check this with the adjuster, though, and ask exactly where in your policy it says this. When you give a statement to your own insurance adjuster, stick to the facts and don’t make guesses at anything.
If you’re in the position where an insurance adjuster is asking you to make a statement, it’s wise to contact an attorney regarding your rights. A skilled attorney can advise you about what to do and what to say to protect yourself.