Do I have to give a statement?
After an accident, you are not legally required to give a statement to the other driver's insurance company and your claim cannot be denied because you declined to do so. However, under the terms of your own auto insurance policy, you may be required to submit a statement after an accident.
Why are statements dangerous?
Insurance statements are dangerous for a number of reasons. When asking for a statement, the insurance adjuster is gathering information that will be used to either approve or deny your injury claim; therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you give a full and accurate account of all the facts surrounding the accident. Leaving out important details or misstating facts can cause your claim to be denied. However, victims of car accidents are often unable to give full and accurate accounts of the facts surrounding a car accident for several reasons:
- Lack of knowledge
Oftentimes, a victim of an accident is under a great deal of stress, which can negatively impact your ability to accurately describe the events leading to the accident and your resulting injuries. Accidents happen quickly and you may not be aware of all the facts that led to the crash occurring: a later perusal of traffic cameras or security surveillance tapes may show additional factors that absolve you of liability.
Also, there may be additional relevant factors that you are not aware of at the time, such as that the other driver was under the influence or your car's brakes malfunctioned moments before the collision. Victims of accidents with injuries are often in a great deal of pain and require medical treatment. When in pain, a victim is not thinking clearly which can be compounded by taking prescription painkillers.
Further, you may not be aware of the extent of your injuries at the time of the statement. If at the time of the accident you report that your only injury was a painful bump on the head, yet several days later you develop pain in your spine, your spinal injury claim will be denied because you did not report it in your statement.
In addition to leaving out important facts, it is equally detrimental to your claim to misstate facts or volunteer information which can hurt your claim. For example, if you mistakenly report that your car came to a full stop or that you were observing the speed limit at the time of the accident, your claim may be denied. Also, accepting fault for the accident or admitting to contributory behaviors such as speeding can also result in denial of your claim.
Stop worrying about your car accident insurance claim
If you are involved in a car accident, it is best to consult an attorney before giving insurance statements. An attorney can make sure you are providing the insurance company with a full and accurate account of the accident as well as all of your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Call (800) 838-6644 today to receive a free case evaluation from experienced car accident lawyers to get help with your situation and move on.