Am I required to give the insurance company a recorded statement in connection with my Virginia Car Accident Claim?
As a general rule, you should not give out any information regarding your motor vehicle accident without first consulting an attorney. If any insurance company, including your own, asks for a recorded statement over the phone, you should always say no, and I will tell you why here.
After an accident, either your own insurance company, the first-party insurer, or the other drivers insurance, the third-party insurer, will want a recorded statement of the accident. This sounds like a reasonable request, however insurance companies will go at lengths to obtain a recorded statement that serves as evidence that could be used against you.
Insurance companies will often call and ask for a verbal recorded statement. They will ask you questions that you might not have the ability to answer entirely, and you might give an ambivalent, though affirmative, response such as “I guess so.” Depending on the questions, these types of responses can actually be used against you by your own insurance company to deny your own claim! If you have given multiple statements regarding the accident, adjusters will find inconsistencies between the multiple responses (which are common when a story has been told more than once), and use these inconsistencies as evidence against your claim.
You should never give a statement over the phone without legal counsel. Insurance adjusters are trained interrogators and they are talented at getting the responses they need, even if they aren’t the responses you mean to offer. When under pressure on the phone, it can be easy to slip-up and misstate yourself. Giving a statement to an insurance adjuster over the phone gives them a huge advantage and is highly unrecommended.
You are required to cooperate with your own insurance company. If they request a recorded statement, there are ways to ensure that your recorded statement contains only what you believe to be true. If you absolutely must provide a statement, ask to do so in writing, as an interview over the phone is bound to weaken your claim. If you feel like you are being bullied by an insurance company, or if they are asking unjust or leading questions, I highly advise seeking legal counsel from a lawyer who handles car accidents in Virginia.