It Is Typical to Be Contacted by the Other Party’s Insurance Company
Interviewer: We talked about the at?fault insurance company. They’re going to try to get a statement from you, right? They’ll call and pressure you into giving a statement?
If You Are Contacted by the Other Party’s Insurance Company, Avoid Making a Statement and Do Not Accept an Offer
Bill: What usually happens is the insurance company that represents the at fault party will be on you as soon as they can get a hold of you to (1) make a statement and (2) offer money.
They do that because a lot of folks make the statement and take the money. They make two mistakes. By making a statement, they can say things that might hurt their case. If they take money quickly, they’re generally way under settling the value of their claim because of not knowing the extent of their injuries.
Your Attorney May Allow the Insurance Company to Send a List of Questions but Will Not Allow You to Make an Oral Statement
With regard to pressuring me, as the attorney, for statements, they will always ask me for a statement. I will do one of two things. I will allow them to send written questions to my client, and we will answer them if they want. They invariably ask for oral statements, and I put a stop to that immediately by saying, “If you want to take my client’s statement, then I want to take your insured’s statement.” That effectively shuts them up immediately, because they’re never going to allow their insured time with your lawyer to take a statement.
Whether You Have Retained an Attorney or Have Not, You Are Not under Any Legal Obligation to Provide a Statement to an Insurance Company
Interviewer: Are people, whether they have a lawyer or not, are they obligated to give a statement to the other party’s insurance company?
Bill: Absolutely not, but the majority of people don’t know that.
Interviewer: How hard do the insurance companies pressure people to make a statement?
Be Advised: The Representatives from the Insurance Company Are Adept at Putting People at Ease
Bill: They don’t have to pressure them at all. They call them up and the folks are more than willing to speak with them. They have no idea why they’re calling, but they’re very likely to give a statement, because they think it will help their case and it is the right thing to do. It is human nature is to be cooperative and kind and because the insurance company adjusters are very adept at putting the injured party at ease, they just think it’s a perfectly natural thing for them to do.
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