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Mistakes People Make Giving An Insurance Company A Statement

1. They guess

Even though an insurance representative contacting someone to obtain a statement may lead one to believe the statement is an informal discussion, nothing could be further from the truth. The statements obtained by insurance companies are usually recorded with the purpose of being used against you later if all of the information in the statement is not 100% accurate. In common, every day conversation, we make reasonable guesses about certain topics under discussion. Guessing in a statement to the insurance company, however, can cause major problems for an individual later when presenting a claim. Having an attorney present during any statement given to an insurance company can help prevent unfair questioning and a tendency of some individuals to guess in providing information to the insurance representative.

2. Assume you cannot have an attorney present

Insurance companies usually call accident victims immediately following a collision. The insurance representative sometimes will give the impression that it is your legal obligation to immediately provide the insurance company with a statement. A victim of an accident should not feel pressured into providing a statement without having their own personal legal representative present. You do have the right to have an attorney present during the statement.

3. Lie

Obviously, if one is not truthful in providing a statement, that lie will most likely catch up with them down the road. An appropriate statement to the insurance company representative should be an accurate accounting of your memory, but should not include any untruthfulness.

4. Answering ambiguous questions

Insurance representatives are trained in asking ambiguous questions. They are also trained in asking compound and leading questions . Their intent is to try to get you to say or make it appear that you are saying something inconsistent with the true facts of your case. If you are not aware of these techniques, you can be taken advantage of.

5. Failure to secure an independent recording of the statement

Insurance companies obtain recorded statements and then have the statements typed up into a transcript. You have the right to obtain not only a copy of the written transcript, but of the independent audio recording, too. Sometimes the actual audio recording is different than the written transcript. Sometimes the insurance company loses the original audio recording and, therefore, it cannot be reproduced. Securing your own independent audio recording helps eliminate inconsistencies that may be created by neglect or intention by the insurance company's representative.

6. Providing your version without knowing the responsible party's version

Insurance companies like to obtain statements from the victim first, so that they can provide your version of the accident to the responsible party. Sometimes the responsible party changes their version of the collision from that provided to you or provided to the police at the accident scene. You are not required to give a statement to the insurance company without an attorney present. Oftentimes, it is better to employ an attorney in an attempt to obtain the responsible party's statement of how the collision occurred, to ensure that the true facts of the collision are secured and to make sure you are protected.

7. Providing estimates of time, speed and distance

One of the tricks insurance representatives like to use in obtaining statements is to get a victim of the collision to estimate speeds of vehicles, the time which transpired between the collision intervals, and the distances involved in the collision. While it is understood in normal conversations such information is based on an individual's estimates, when provided in a recorded statement to the insurance company, such information can be manipulated to make it look like an accident is the fault of the collision victim. An attorney can help make sure that any information provided concerning these parameters are presented in an accurate fashion and prevent the insurance company from unfairly manipulating the information.

8. Do not argue

Sometimes insurance representatives have the intent of getting you mad. They want to get you to argue. They record such conversations and then try to make it sound later like you were trying to be unreasonable. You do not want to be taken advantage of in this manner.

9. Providing an inaccurate medical history

Insurance companies oftentimes ask you to provide a history about previous injuries, medical treatment and accidents. The reason the insurance company representative requests this information is so that your statement can be compared to independent investigation information obtained by the insurance company. The insurance companies have the ability to investigate whether you have ever submitted or made a claim through health insurance, liability insurance, work insurance, etc. for injuries or care. This information can go back several years and may have been long forgotten by an individual. The insurance representative, therefore, puts an unsuspecting victim at a disadvantage.

10. Failure to have an attorney present

You are not required to give a statement to the responsible party's insurance company. You may have a responsibility to provide your own insurance company with a statement, but you still have the right to have an attorney present to protect you in either scenario. Having an attorney present makes sure that the insurance company is not taking advantage of you.

The insurance company is only looking out for themselves. Make sure you have someone looking out for YOU!

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