No, you are not required to provide a recorded statement in an injury claim in Birmingham. It is very common for the at-fault party’s insurance company to request that the victim provide a recorded statement or interview about what occurred, their injuries, and other related topics. However, you are not required to provide a statement, and it could actually harm your case.
If the other party’s insurer asks you to participate in providing a statement or answering questions while they record the conversation, it is a good idea to discuss the claim with a personal injury lawyer. They can tell you more about protecting your rights and navigating the claims process.
Why Are Insurance Companies So Keen on Getting a Recorded Statement?
The opposing party’s insurer wants a recorded statement for one reason: It might be advantageous to them to have it as your case moves forward. Giving a recorded statement cannot help your case, but it can hurt it in several ways. Three possible ways the insurer intends to use a recorded statement include:
To Reduce Their Payout by Showing You Caused the Crash
Anything you say on the recording could be used against you later. Did you mention you were running late for work? They may claim you were speeding. Did you say you had stopped to get coffee? They may say you were drowsy. They will look for things to use against you, and some will even twist your words if they cannot find anything in your comments.
They will use these tactics to try to reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to collect or deny your right to damages altogether.
To Show the Jury You Are Not Honest or Trustworthy
Even if they cannot find a way to reduce your claim or challenge your financial recovery, they may try to show the judge and jury that you are not believable or trustworthy. In doing so, they will use your recorded statement to set the facts of the case and then cross-examine you about the details you gave.
It is virtually impossible to remember every detail the same way months later when it is time to give a deposition or testify at trial. If you contradict even a small detail of your previous statement, they will call attention to it and try to use it against you.
To Determine How to Fight Your Claim
The insurance company wants a sneak peek at what your angle will be when your case moves forward. Do you have evidence that their client was distracted, driving recklessly, drowsy, or otherwise being careless behind the wheel? Will you claim you’ve suffered life-altering injuries?
These are all things the insurance company would like to know in advance, so they will know how serious you are about getting the compensation you demanded. A strong case may mean you are serious about suing and going to trial.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Your Insurance May Require You to Provide Them with a Recorded Statement
In some cases, your own insurance company may ask for a recorded statement. In fact, some policies require that the policyholder speaks to an adjuster on record before they move forward with a claim. If you are filing for compensation through your collision, medical payments (MedPay), or uninsured motorist coverage, this may be a necessary step.
In general, your own insurer should be on your side. However, we still recommend sitting down with a car accident lawyer to discuss your rights and options first. They can look at your policy and determine if giving a statement is required or if you have another option. They may even be able to handle this conversation with the insurer on your behalf.
Let an Attorney Handle Your Communication With the Insurance Companies
In general, most of the information the insurance companies need to investigate your claim is available in the police report. This document includes the basic details of the accident, who was involved, who witnessed it, what damage occurred, what the officer believed happened, and if they issued citations or made arrests. Your lawyer can provide any additional necessary information on your behalf, protecting your right to pursue fair compensation.
Your lawyer will also navigate the claims process on your behalf, developing a strong case and pursuing compensation for you. If you want to file a lawsuit, you may only have up to two years to get started under Ala. Code § 6-2-38. However, certain exceptions may shorten the deadline.
Discuss Your Rights and Options with Our Birmingham Lawyer for Free
The personal injury attorneys from the Morris Bart law firm provide free consultations for victims of negligence in Birmingham. We can protect your rights and help you recover a fair and just payout. Our 15 locations include six in Alabama. We have an office on 20th Street N in downtown Birmingham. Connect with us now to learn more about providing a recorded statement in an injury claim in Birmingham.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.