In the very early stages of an accident case, you might consent to giving a statement to the adverse insurer before you ever retain counsel. Those statements are either written or recorded. The adjuster from the adverse insurer tells you that they just merely want to get some information about the accident, your injuries and damages, but the actual purpose of the statement is to obtain admissions from you which may be used against you in trying to avoid responsibility. Unfortunately, many people talk to the adverse party’s insurance adjuster before they ever talk to their own attorney. Don’t think that because the statement isn’t under oath that it can’t be used against you in one way or another. It doesn’t have to be under oath to be used against you.
Under your own contract of insurance, you have a duty to cooperate with your insurer. If they want a written or recorded statement, you’re probably required to give it to them. Don’t believe an adjuster for the other side though if you’re told that you’re required to give them a statement. That’s not the law in Texas, and probably not the law anywhere in the United States.
Giving a statement to the other insurer without an attorney present will do nothing to help your case. Questions are phrased to help the insurance company and not you. You’ll only be giving the insurer more ammunition to defend its case, even when you’re telling 100 percent of the truth. What will most likely happen is that after giving your statement, you’ll hear nothing further from the insurer. When you contact them, the adjuster will probably tell you that for one reason or another, they’re unable to settle the case. Now they have your statement to use against you in a lawsuit, and you have nothing.
If a lawsuit is filed and you’re in litigation, there will be a time and place when you’ll be required to give your statement. That’s in a deposition, and you’ll have the benefit of your attorney being present and helping to prepare you for the deposition Until that time, you’re under no legal duty to provide the adverse insurer with your statement.
Springer & Lyle is focused on representing people for the injuries they sustained at the hands of negligent parties. Don’t take the first step without us. If you have an attorney and an adverse insurer contacts you and wants your statement, just tell them who your attorney is and nothing else. Once they know you are represented by counsel, they are prohibited from contacting you directly.
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