Off The Record: 4 Reasons Why Recorded Statements Could Hurt Your Injury Claim

18 July 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Being cooperative can be a good thing in many cases, especially when it comes to getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries after an accident. However, there are times when being cooperative can prove devastating for your personal injury claim. For instance, willingly giving a recorded statement to the other party's insurance provider could hurt your chances of receiving a fair settlement or award. Here are four reasons why a seemingly helpful act can damage your claim:

You Could Accidentally Give Inconsistent Statements

In the aftermath of an accident, there's a good chance you spoken to a lot of people - police officers, witnesses, medical personnel and so on. It's not likely that you'll remember everything you told them with crystal clarity, especially when you recount the events surrounding your accident weeks or months after the fact. As a result, any statement you decide to give to the other party's insurance company may not exactly match up with previous statements you've given to others.

Unfortunately, the claims adjuster for the insurance company will likely take your recorded statement and point out perceived inconsistencies with any other statements you've made before or afterwards. This can create the perception that you deliberately made false statements, which could weaken your claim or even cause it to be denied outright.

Trick Questions and Voluntary Information Could Trip You Up

Claims adjusters understand the art of the interview, especially when it involves getting to the bottom of personal injury claims. It's not unusual for adjusters to ask questions that are carefully worded to provoke a particular response - usually one that's in their favor. These often include leading questions that subtly favor a preferred answer and clarifying statements designed to have you inadvertently weaken your own claim. These trick questions can easily hurt your case by forcing you to admit culpability in the accident in question or downplay the severity of the accident itself.

Volunteering information is also something you should avoid at all costs. For instance, making a statement about any personal issues you're going through, such as a divorce or a death in the family, could hurt your chances of a fair settlement or award. The adjuster can claim that those issues had a big impact on your judgment at the time of the accident, which could have a negative impact on the outcome of your claim.

Today's Statement May Not Cover Tomorrow's Injuries

It's not unusual for injuries to manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. Unfortunately, the claims adjuster for the other party's insurance provider may decide to contact you within 24 hours of the accident. This doesn't give much time for serious injuries to appear, especially those involving soft tissue damage.

As a consequence, the recorded statement you give to the insurance company shortly after the accident may not have any mention of injuries that show up days or weeks later. This means that any claim you make for injuries that weren't mentioned in your original recorded statement due to a delayed onset may be denied.

It'll Come Back to Haunt You in Court

Recorded statements can be a powerful tool in the hands of the defense. If you decide to take your case to trial or if you're required to undergo a deposition, the insurance company's attorneys will have an opportunity to cross-examine you using your own recorded statements. Under cross-examination, the defense attorney may attempt to have you contradict yourself, thereby seeding doubt in the minds of the jury as to the credibility of your testimony.

There's a good chance you may not remember everything you've said in your recorded statement, so there's always the risk of inadvertently contradicting yourself upon cross-examination. Unfortunately, this can give the defense the advantage it needs to achieve outcome in its favor. Click here to read.