Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?

After an accident, whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall injury, an insurance adjuster will call to hear your side of the events. They might want a recorded statement or use the phone call as a record of your statement. You’re not required to provide a recorded statement of the incident and doing so can cause serious damage to your case.

The Reason Behind the Recorded Statement

While the adjuster might have the best intentions, they are working for the insurance company. It’s a business that deals with hundreds if not thousands of cases on a regular basis. The adjuster will use the recorded statement to construct a picture of what happened both before, during and after the accident.

There are pleasant adjusters and those who are rude and nasty, but for both types of adjusters, you’re a claim number and a name on their paperwork. They’re not in the business of helping you. In fact, some insurance adjusters are adept at using recorded messages and leading questions to damage your claim.

Preparing a Statement for the Insurance Company

You absolutely have the right to refuse to give the insurance company a recorded statement. They can’t threaten you into making one. If they make threatening noises about the statement, you could tell them you’ll provide one later. If they demand a recorded statement, your lawyer can walk you through the process.

Outline Your Case

First, it’s important that you have all the facts in the right order. During the recording, you’ll be able to follow the timeline to ensure you don’t leave out any important details. A recorded statement can’t be taken back, so you’ll need to be thoroughly prepared. All the words and information you exchange with the insurance company becomes a part of the record and file of your case.

Don’t be afraid to write things down and have them in front of you during the recording. Whether you’re talking with the adjuster or recording for delivery later, the outline will keep you on track. It’ll keep you from rambling and revealing information that can damage your case.

Stick to the Facts

As near as you can, outline exactly what happened without adding in personal details. If you were in a car accident, never explain that you were running late or have had a bad time lately because of a divorce. This can be used against you later to say that you were distracted or driving recklessly.

Do You Have a Duty to Cooperate?

The only time someone can be forced to cooperate is when they live in a no-fault state or if they’re filing under the Uninsured Motorist part of their policy. You might be compelled to give a recorded statement to your insurance company. California is not a “no-fault” state. If the insurance company for your accident or fall injury is putting pressure on you, it’s important that you contact an attorney.

Making the Recorded Statement with the Adjuster

If you are forced to make a recorded statement with the adjuster, be careful about your choice of words. The adjuster can often ask irrelevant questions or make statements that can weaken the strength of your claim. For instance, the adjuster might say something like, “It sounds like you were distracted with all those kids in the car.” Never discuss anything other than the exact facts of the case.

If you’re unsure of your obligations or want the advice of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, tell the insurance company that you’ll have to get back to them. Never feel pressured to give an immediate statement until you’ve contacted an attorney and learned what your rights and obligations are.

How long do I have to file an injury claim for my motorcycle accident?

Here’s a great article from ER Trial Lawyers, a team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys. The specific deadline for filing a personal injury claim regarding your motorcycle accident depends on where you live. The deadline to file is called statute of limitations. The statute of limitations may range from one to six years depending on the state. Most states are like California. In California, you have two years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file a personal injury claim.

After the statute of limitations run out, you are barred from filing a personal injury claim. This means any lawsuit filed will be automatic dismissed. It is not based on the merit of the case. You may have a legal reason to file the claim such as the other person was negligent when they caused your motorcycle accident. It is dismissed because you ran out of time.

It is important to note that the time to file your motorcycle accident claim starts the day you were injured. For example, you were injured August 29, 2015 in a motorcycle accident. You had until August 29, 2017 to file your motorcycle claim. Depending on your state you could have had less or more time. After that August date, you can no longer file.

Exception to Every Rule

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations rule. One exception is called the “discovery rule.” The discovery will extend the statute of limitations if you discovered your motorcycle injury after you were barred from filing a claim. For instance, the motorcycle accident happened on August 29, 2017. Your doctor did not discover your motorcycle injury until December 19, 2017. You now have until December 19, 2018 to file your personal injury lawsuit.

Other ways to extend the statute of limitations in your motorcycle accident really depend on the person you are suing. The wrongful party is called the defendant. For instance, if the defendant was a minor at the time of your motorcycle accident, your statute of limitations starts the day they turn 18 years old.

The statute of limitations can stop when the defendant:

• Goes to prison
• Moves out of the state for a period of time
• Is declared insane

The statute of limitations begins again after the defendant returns to the state, leaves prison or is declared sane. It is important to keep tract of the statute of limitations during this time to prevent it running out on you. For instance, a defendant leaves the state a year after the statute of limitations starts. They return six months later. The statute of limitations restarts. You then have a year from the date of their return to the state to file your claim.

Be Aware the Defendant May Try to Play Games with Your Statute of Limitations

The defendant, whether they are an insurance company or someone who directly harmed you, may try to get out of paying you. One tactic is to delay you from filing your claim. For instance, they may tell you they want to settle your claim. You do not file a lawsuit. They continuously offer your less than fair settlements. Their hope is to keep you focused on negotiations so you won’t notice time ticking down in your statute of limitations claim. If they are successful, you will be barred from filing and they will not stop trying to settle the case.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Regarding Your Motorcycle Accident

Because of your motorcycle accident, you sustained injuries. These injuries allow you to sue for damages like medical bills and lost wages. This means the defendant is financially responsible for your accident.

The best thing to do after your motorcycle accident is focus on your recovery. At the same time, contact a personal injury attorney about your motorcycle accident claim. Typically, what an attorney does is immediately protects your legal rights to sue. They file a personal injury lawsuit.

This takes away delay tactics used to prevent you from filing a claim in county court. You can still negotiate a settlement. Your attorney will prepare for trial and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement can be reached, you do not have to go to court. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will prove your case in court.