Should I give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company after a car or trucking crash?
NO. There is no circumstance in which it helps your claim to give a statement to the insurance adjuster for the at-fault party’s insurance carrier after you suffer an injury.
It is important to know you are under no legal duty to talk to the at-fault driver’s insurer at all. PERIOD. This goes for any personal injury claim: car crash, trucking crash, slip or trip and fall, medical negligence, negligent security, or otherwise.
The insurance adjuster is not your friend. They work solely for the insurance company to serve the insurance company’s interests and are trained to ask certain questions to minimize the value of your claim and to obtain admissions from you that they and their lawyers can use against you later on. You will not help your case by talking to the insurance company.
This doesn’t mean insurance adjusters are bad people. After all, they aren’t the ones getting rich off denying claims. They are just following orders and trying to do their jobs. But the fact is they are employees of the insurance company, which pays them to do a job—and that job is to pay you zero, or as close to zero as possible, regardless of how badly you’re injured. And it does not help you at all to give them anything.
As the injury victim stacked up against an insurance giant with infinite resources at its disposal, your job from the moment you are injured is to protect yourself from their tactics. This includes not subjecting yourself to a recorded statement by the insurance company’s trained interrogators. You are not required in any way to submit to a statement, and they will only use it against you. So don’t do it. After all–talking to the insurance company and its attorneys is one of the many things you hired your personal injury attorney to handle for you.
And if you need more convincing, consider this. In my 12 years of being a lawyer (the first six years working for insurance companies, and the past six years for the injury victims they go up against), I have never once heard of a scenario where an insurance company allowed their insured to give a recorded statement about a crash. What does that tell you?
But you do need to talk with your own insurance company
The caveat here is that to a certain point you do have to cooperate with your own insurance company, whether or not you are at fault. If you don’t, you risk losing your insurance coverage by breaching the “cooperation clause” that is found in every insurance policy. This means that if you cause a crash and don’t cooperate with your insurance company, your insurer can leave you on your own to defend a suit against you and pay any judgment (not good).
A failure to cooperate with your insurance company is also problematic if you are not at fault but are eligible to pursue “uninsured motorist” or “underinsured motorist” benefits (insurance you bought from your own automobile insurance company that covers your medical bills and pain and suffering if another driver causes a crash that injures you).
In most scenarios, your own insurance company has the same interest you do: to minimize the amount they have to pay. However, in cases where you were injured by someone else and your “uninsured motorist” or “underinsured motorist” benefits come in to play, your insurance company may be adverse to you since you are actually seeking compensation from them. In that scenario, they are trying to minimize the amount they have to pay to you.
This is a tricky legal situation and, as usual, is the sort of issue for which you should call your favorite lawyer at The York Firm today at 404-990-3388 and consult an experienced car crash attorney.