Hi, I’m Roger Ghai and I wanted to talk today a little bit about whether you should or how you should handle the insurance adjuster after you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, a truck accident, a car accident or what have you. Could be actually a slip and fall accident too. The question becomes should you deal with and talk to the insurance adjuster? You can talk to the insurance company, but if they ask you to give them a recorded statement, my thinking on that is that you should not give them a recorded statement for the following reasons.
Number one, they’re going to go ahead and try to frame the questions in such a way which is adverse to your case. That’s what they do. That’s what they’re paid for. That’s how they make more money for their stockholders of their insurance company. That’s not something you want to do without first speaking to a lawyer.
The other thing is this, if you do by chance go ahead and give them a recorded statement and then you decide you’re going to go ahead and get a lawyer after that, it gets very difficult for your lawyer to get that recorded statement because you wouldn’t have any reason to know this, but once the insurance company takes that recorded statement, they get to provide that statement to their lawyers. But the question is, can your lawyer actually get that statement? Under what we call the work-product doctrine, that’s the insurance company’s work product. They were investigating your accident and part of that investigation was taking your recorded statement. Probably, your insurance– your own insurance company, I should say– your own attorney, I should say, will not be able to get any recorded statement that you gave to the insurance company after the accident. That works as a disadvantage because you may have knowingly or unknowingly said some things about your case, about your injuries or about how the accident happened that could be crucial in determining the outcome of your case. My advice is you can go ahead and give them general information, your name, your age, date of birth and all that type of thing, a copy of the police report if you like, but never, ever give them a recorded statement.
If you have any questions about what you should do in that scenario, just feel free to call me at 770-792-1000.