Continuing on with our seven points from our free ebook “The Biggest Mistakes That Will Kill Your Case,” we come to our third point:
Do Not Give a Statement to the Insurance Company, either your or the other party’s insurance company.
The insurance company will contact you fairly quickly after the accident and ask you to give a recorded statement over the phone. You may still be recovering from the accident, and you may also be nervous. You most certainly will be unprepared. You may talk too much, or say things you didn’t mean to say. The insurance companies will use whatever you say to their advantage to discredit you and offer you a lower settlement or none at all.
Anything you say in a recorded statement can be used against you later in your case. Insurance adjusters will scrutinize your every word to see how they can minimize your recovery, they are looking for any reason to deny your claim.
We suggest consulting with an attorney before you consent to give any statement to any insurance company after an accident.
Giving a recorded statement to insurance company is the equivalent of a deposition. Will the insurance company used a recorded statement against you? Yes, and the reason why the insurance companies do such as savy job at requesting a recorded statement is because most people don’t fully understand the extent of their injuries and are very optimistic that they will recover quickly.
Because the insurance companies routinely use the information gained in a recorded statement to harm people who have been injured the legislature came out with the law to protect the injured:
C.R.S. §13-21-301 provides in relevant part:
(1) If a person is injured as a result of an occurrence which might give rise to liability and said person is a patient under the care of a practitioner of the healing arts or is hospitalized, no person or agent of any person whose interest is adverse to the injured person, within fifteen days from the date of the occurrence causing the injury, shall:
(c) Obtain or attempt to obtain any statement, either written, oral, recorded, or otherwise, from the injured patient for use in negotiating a settlement or obtaining a release except as provided by the Colorado rules of civil procedure. (2) … Any statement, written, oral, recorded, or otherwise, which is given by the injured party in violation of this section may not be used in evidence against the interest of the injured party in any civil action relating to the injury.
The moral of the story is. It’s not a good idea to get a recorded statement until you understand the extent of the injuries and have all the information in order to properly respond to their inquiries.