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Should you give a recorded statement to an insurance carrier--It depends!

Clients are frequently asked to provide recorded statements to an insurance carrier representative shortly after an accident takes place. Any individual that becomes a client of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is informed immediately not to have any contact with the insurance carrier representing the wrongdoer. The insurance carrier for the other party does not have a right to obtain a recorded statement from you. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel does not recommend that a recorded statement be provided to the insurance carrier who represents an individual that may be your adversary at a later date. Think of it this way- there is no harm in denying your potential adversary the opportunity to take your statement but there may be great harm in providing that statement. For example, if an individual describes their injuries inartfully or in a lackadaisical manner, e.g. "I'm OK I guess." Would then have a statement from you that is inaccurate because, for example, the pain has not yet begun, or worse, you are suffering from a brain injury . Nevertheless, that statement can later be used to defeat or diminish your claim for compensation. Accordingly, requests for recorded statements from the insurance carrier representing the wrongdoer or from the individual with whom you are in a collision should not be permitted.

On the other hand, you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. After a collision, you should contact your agent or insurance company and report the accident as soon as practicable. Your own insurance company has the right to conduct an investigation, including obtaining a recorded statement from you regarding the circumstances of the happening of the accident. You are obligated, under your contract with your own insurance company to cooperate with them. Therefore, in the event your own insurance carrier requests a recorded statement, you must adhere to the requirements of your contract and provide that information.

by Ira Sherman