Last Update: 02/01/16
After an accident or when someone is injured in a way that involves an insurance claim, there will be (as a general rule) two insurance companies involved:
1. the injured person’s insurance company (usually paying the medical expenses)(called “the first party carrier”); and
2. the other person’s insurance company (the insurance policy of the one who hit you in the car accident, etc.)(called “the third party carrier”).
Most injury victims in Florida can expect that the representative of the insurance company who issued a policy for the Other Guy will contact them. These representatives are called “adjusters” and their job is to “adjust” the insurance claim for damages that is being made on the insurance policy.
These guys (or gals) are not your friends, no matter how friendly they may be. They are gathering information that can be used as evidence for the defense in any trial over the accident — evidence to help the Other Guy. Not You.
One of the first things that you may hear from the Other Guy’s Insurance Adjuster is a request to chat with the injured person and to record the statement that is being made by the victim. This request (and this recording) can be in person or by phone.
This is the “recorded statement” which adjusters are pushed to get and which adjusters have lots of experience in getting — to help their side. They’re very savvy about how to ask questions to get answers that help their arguments later in the case. Be careful.
Additionally, you may get a request for a recorded statement from your own insurance company. They’re looking out for their bottom line, as well, not your best interests. If your insurance company can find a way to avoid paying your claim based on some lingo in the policy language, THEY WILL. Getting your recorded statement can be one fast way to do just that — deny your claim. Be savvy.
10 Things you need to know about recorded statements by insurance adjusters in Florida:
1. The insurance adjuster cannot record you without your okay.
2. The insurance adjuster must ask your permission to start recording.
3. You can say NO to having a recorded statement.
4. You can say NO to talking with either your Insurance Company’s Adjuster or the Other Guy’s Insurance Adjuster (refer him or her to your attorney, for example).
5. They may call you early on in the case, not too long after the accident has occurred. You’re more vulnerable then.
6. They may pressure you to give your statement with emotional tactics and manipulation. Don’t be manipulated.
7. They may try and get you to give your statement by telling you it’s in your best interests to do so. It’s not.
8. You cannot correct or change what you’ve said in a recorded statement. It stands on its own.
9. The goal of the recorded statement is to get words in the recording that can be used as an “admission” against you later.
10. You can offer to give a WRITTEN statement to them in your own good time as an option to a recorded statement if this helps get them off your back.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you are being contacted by an insurance adjuster, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before giving a recorded statement to learn about your rights. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
- 5 Things You Should Know About Car Insurance Adjusters When You Have A Car Accident Claim
- Bad Faith Insurance Adjusters: Suing Your Insurance Company For Failing to Pay Your Insurance Claim (or Not Paying Enough)
- Florida Insurance Adjusters Work Hard to Keep Car Accident Claims Payment As Low as Possible – And They Have a Bag of Tricks to Use to Pay You as Little as They Can
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.