recorded statement injury

If you are involved in an accident in New York, the law requires you to stop at the scene and exchange relevant details with the other driver who was involved in the crash. You will have to provide your name, address, license information, and insurance details to them and also obtain the same details from them. However, it’s vital to realize that saying anything more than this, or arguing about the accident, or making any kind of a statement can cause more harm than good.

Is a Statement Necessary After a New York Car Accident?

Under the laws of New York, there is no clause that says you have to give any type of statement to anyone following your car accident. When a police officer arrives at the scene of the accident and asks you to describe what happened, you must simply report the events as they unfolded from your viewpoint.

However, there is no need to make any kind of recorded statement or enter into a discussion or argument. It’s paramount to understand that anything you say at such times may be used by the other party to undermine your personal injury claim claim later in the process.

Reasons to Avoid Giving Recorded Statements to Insurers

If the other party’s insurance provider asks you for a recorded or unrecorded statement after the accident, you are under no obligation to provide it. Giving a statement to such entities may actually damage your case since anything you say at that time may be used by them to discredit your claims or to reduce the amount you receive in compensation. There is nothing they can do if you refuse to give a statement, so it is wise to stay silent.

Here are 7 reasons to avoid providing recorded statements to the other party’s insurance company in New York:

  1. There is no legal requirement to provide a recorded statement. So, when it is not required by the law, it makes no sense to do so.
  2. Just as your insurance provider will support you, the other party’s insurance company will look out for their client’s best interests. So, there is no way that your statement is going to be used to ensure you benefit. This being the case, why waste time and energy in making a statement that brings you no benefit at all?
  3. Insurance companies seek statements soon after an accident. It is quite likely that you may not yet have overcome the shock of the entire episode even if you have recovered from the physical injuries. When you are feeling shocked or low or confused in your emotions, you may say things that are just an expression of your feelings rather than an actual statement of fact.
  4. If you are a very conscientious type of person, and one that thinks aloud, you may end up openly introspecting about whether you could have done something to avoid the crash. This is just the kind of statement that the insurers wait for, to prove that you failed to exert due care to avoid the accident.
  5. The insurance company representatives have a lot of experience in interacting with drivers involved in car accidents in New York. They are usually great at communication and can get you to open up and feel so comfortable talking to them that you do not even realize when you start giving out information that could be used against you.
  6. When you give a recorded statement, the insurance company may choose to highlight any point you mention casually and that has not much relevance to the incident, twisting it in a manner that serves to discredit your claim. The things you say may be used to even prove that you were at fault for the NYC accident or that you contributed a major part to it, so as to reduce the amount they need to pay you in compensation.
  7. If you decide not to accept an insurance company’s offer of settlement and instead decide to pursue a court case against the driver at fault, the statement you made to the insurance company representative can be used against you. When cases go to trial, the legal proceedings can take several months to begin. By the time you have to make your appearance in court, your memory of events may have grown hazy, and something you say at this time may contradict a point you mentioned in your initial statement. Skilled car accident attorneys in NYC who are representing the driver at fault will easily notice this, and use your genuine error to make you appear untrustworthy.

When you say nothing to an insurance company representative, there is nothing that they can use against you. To that extent, you can ensure that you have not contributed any information that benefits the other party to defend against your New York City personal injury claim.

Will Your Insurance Company Want a Statement From You?

When you report the accident to your insurance company, they will want you to provide detailed information about the incident. In most cases, insurance companies just collect oral reports to understand what happened during the accident, and they are not likely to request a recorded statement.

Check if your insurance policy has a clause that requires the insured person to provide a statement before their claim can be settled. If yes, your insurer may insist that you provide a recorded statement. In situations of this kind, keep your statement as brief as possible, stating just the minimum amount of information requested.

Before you provide it, though, ask for clear information regarding why they require this statement, what they plan to do with it, and who else the statement may get shared with. This will help you plan what information to include and what to leave out of your statement.

Tips on Protecting Your Rights When Dealing with NYC Insurance Companies

If there are circumstances in which you have no alternative to giving a statement after your NYC auto accident and personal injury, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Make sure you are calm, alert, and well-prepared at the time of giving your statement. Never agree to an interview when you are in pain, or tired, or disoriented.
  • Never apologize for the accident. Although you may consider it a basic courtesy to be polite and express regret at the events, the insurance company can use your apology to make it appear that you were at fault.
  • Make a clear statement of the injuries you have suffered and indicate the pain that you are suffering. Sometimes, due to the adrenaline rush immediately after an accident, your body may not show external signs of damage until a few hours or days after the event. If you speak to an insurance agent too early and say you have no injuries or pain, they can use it to discredit your injuries that become apparent a little later.
  • Talk as little as possible to answer the questions you are asked. After you have finished answering, stay silent. Do not volunteer any more information or feel uneasy and jump in to fill gaps in the conversation.
  • If there is a question asked to which you do not have an answer, be truthful and say you have no answer. Never try to guess and say something when you don’t know what to say because these are exactly the statements that may be used against you.
  • If you do not understand any question, ask the interviewer to clarify what they mean. Never guess at the meaning of their question because you may end up providing an incorrect answer out of your misunderstanding.
  • Never sign any paper that the insurance company requests until you have discussed it with your personal injury lawyer in NYC.

Get Advice from a Top-Rated Personal Injury Lawyer in New York

Soon after your accident, it is vital that you contact a committed and accomplished personal injury attorney in NYC to discuss your case. This consultation can help you decide the merits of your case, and give you a clear picture of what to expect during a negotiation with the insurance company of the party at fault. You can also get information that will help you decide if you stand to benefit from refusing the insurance company’s settlement and pursuing your case to a court trial.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our car accident personal injury lawyers have decades of experience with how insurance companies operate. Whether you choose to undertake negotiation with them or to let your case go to trial, we will work to secure your interests and ensure you get the maximum benefit to which you are legally entitled.

Make sure you get in touch with us before you speak to any insurance company, including your own, and we will guide you about what to say and what not to say to an insurance adjuster. To know more about how we can help you, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.

NEW YORK CITY LAW OFFICE

122 E. 42nd Street Suite 3800
New York, NY 10168

Tel: 1-800-660-2264

MAP »

QUEENS LAW OFFICE

8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

*By Appointment Only

MAP »

BRONX LAW OFFICE

220-226 E 161st Street
The Bronx, NY 10451

Tel: (212) 344-1000

*By Appointment Only

MAP »

BROOKLYN LAW OFFICE

1002 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tel: (516) 410-4445

*By Appointment Only

MAP »