The at-fault driver's insurance company wants a recorded statement for several reasons. One, the insurance carrier wants to know what happened and who is at-fault.
Second, if you have been injured because of the other driver's negligence or bad driving, the insurance carrier wants your recorded statement in hopes of finding something they can use against you to deny liability or minimize your damages.
If the case goes to trial two or three years down the road, the lawyers for the insurance company will try to use your recorded statement against you by highlighting inconsistencies of gaps in your memory when you testify at deposition or trial months or years after the recorded statement is given.
I advise my clients not to give recorded statements to the other driver's insurance company. If your own insurance company is asking for a recorded statement, you will likely have to provide it in order to comply with your duty to cooperate with your own insurance carrier. Even in these situations, my firm will schedule the recorded call, prepare you for it, and attend the recorded interview to prevent the claims adjuster from asking irrelevant or improper questions that may harm your case. We will keep a copy of all recorded statements made and will prepare you for future depositions and trial testimony by reviewing your recorded statements before you testify.
For example, imagine you have the right of way through an intersection and you are driving slightly over the speed limit. The at-fault driver coming from the other direction attempts to make a left turn in front of you, causing a T-bone collision in the middle of the intersection. The insurance carrier may suggest that the accident is partially your fault because you were speeding, or because you didn't stop or swerve in time to avoid the collision. The claims adjuster may try to assign 25-35% of the blame to you as a basis for reducing your damages payout by the same percentage. If you gave them a recorded statement acknowledging that you may have been driving a little over the speed limit, these statements may be used against you to establish an argument for comparative negligence to reduce the amount of money they will have to pay you. This will hurt your prospects of settlement and make it more likely you will have to file suit and litigate the case in order to reach a fair settlement. Alternatively, if you give a recorded statement and then forget two years down the road that you were speeding, the recorded statement could be used to impeach you at a deposition or trial. This will damage your credibility and make it more likely the defense will prevail at trial.
Injured motorists who choose not to hire an attorney will often be taken advantage of by savvy claims adjusters who are armed with a recorded statement and a specious argument. They will offer to settle the claim for a reduced amount. They may offer to pay a portion of your medical bills and some nominal amount for pain and suffering. They won't tell you your claim is worth many times more than what they are offering. They won't tell you about the full value of your pain and suffering damages, permanent impairment damages, disfigurement damages, lost wages, and other categories of economic and noneconomic damages that may be in play.
The Max Law Firm will always push back against claims adjusters who try to assign blame to our clients who are injured by the negligence of the other driver. The first step is to refuse giving a recorded statement to the at-fault driver's insurance company. But even if you have given a recorded statement, your Colorado car accident attorney at the Max Law Firm will help you minimize the potential harm of any statements made.
For a free consultation, call The Max Law Firm at 720-699-8268.