Think Long and Hard Before You Give a Recorded Statement to the Opposing Insurance Company

If you are injured in an autombile accident, then be very wary of letting the insurance company's claims adjuster record your statement about the accident. As a general rule, you should talk to a qualified Virginia personal injury lawyer before you engage in any exchange with the insurance company you are facing. You can bet that within a day of your accident, you will receive a call from a professional insurance adjuster representing the driver who hurt you.

You can also bet that he will tell you "how sorry he is that this unfortunate incident (he won't even call it an accident) occurred" and "how he is just trying to figure out what happened." Mularkey! He wants you to let him ask you a bunch of well scripted questions that have been developed over the years, which are designed to help him later deny your claim and to get you to say things that he will later use against you. So, when you deny this request for a recorded statement, you hurt the insurance company's ability to develop evidence to deny your claim and they hate it when you don't do what they want! While I was working for the insurance companies, I reviewed hundreds of these recorded statements and listened time after time to these adjusters ask unfair questions to unsuspecting folks, who were hurt, and generate a mountain of evidence against them. An example of these types of interviews follows: Insurance adjuster: "Can you tell me how fast the other driver was going when you first felt contact from the rear?" (Notice that the insurance professional does not refer to the accident as an "impact.

") Injured person: "Well, no, I was just stopped at the red light and all of sudden I felt this BANG from behind." Insurance adjuster: "Ok, so you don't even know how fast the other driver was going. Do you know if the other driver tried to stop before this contact occurred?" (There is that word again, contact. It makes the accident seem so minor, doesn't it?) Injured person: "I really don't. I don't know what he did." (How would you? You were sitting at a stoplight, minding your own business, when the other driver decided to crash into you!) Insurance adjuster: "Ok, so you don't even know what happened.

" After reading this sample, you may be in shock over the unfair questions of the insurance professional. However, no matter how unfair, it happens every day all around the country. I always thought it would be a good idea to ask the adjuster who calls you for a statement to ask when you or your attorney can interview his insured and tape the conversation. You can rest assured that the answer to that would be NEVER! Remember, the insurance person is trying to build a case to help his insured and hurt you. He has no intention of being fair with you.

James Parrish is a former insurance defense lawyer who now represents injured persons against the insurance industry. He uses the "Inside Information" he learned while defending insurance companies for his clients and has recovered millions of dollars in judgments and settlements for them.

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