I was in a car wreck last week. It was not my fault. I spent five days in the hospital and am now recovering at home. I am getting a couple calls a day from the insurance adjuster for the driver that hit me but I know I should not talk to him. Now my insurance company is calling me and they want to take a statement from me about how the wreck happened. Is there anything wrong with me giving a statement to my insurance company before I talk to a lawyer?
We do not recommend that our clients give a statement to either the other driver’s insurance company or their own insurance company without adequate preparation for the interview. Under most auto insurance policies in Tennessee, you have a duty to give your insurance company a statement, but you need to be adequately prepared first.
We do not prepare our clients by telling them what to say or encouraging them to lie. In fact, just the opposite is true: we encourage our clients to tell the truth about the circumstances giving rise to the wreck, the nature and extent of their injuries, and everything else. Preparation is necessary because insurance adjusters are trained in asking questions, and may ask questions in such a way that the unprepared witness will make mistakes. These statements are almost always tape-recorded and can be used against the person in court.
Why would your insurance company use your statement against you? Because the driver that hit you may have insufficient insurance to pay your damages and you may have to make a claim against your own company under you uninsured / under-insured motorist coverage. If that happens, your insurance company will be adverse to you, and your statement can be used against you.
Thus, I recommend that you talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer before giving a statement to any insurance company about your wreck. Click here to learn how to identify such a lawyer.