After a car accident, another driver’s insurance company may ask you to give a written or recorded statement. You are not legally required to do this, and it is almost never in your best interest.
The insurance company wants a recorded statement for three reasons: (1) to determine the facts of the accident; (2) to determine if you were injured; and (3) to use it against you later in the case.
Even if you are sure you did not cause the accident and have nothing to hide, the insurance company will look for any facts they can use to try and mitigate their insured’s liability or even argue that you were somehow at fault. They may also use your statement to later argue that you are not telling the truth. Anything you might say later that is not completely consistent with your original statement may be used to argue that you were or are lying about the facts of the accident or your related injuries. For example, many people will initially report that they are uninjured, but days later they develop pain that later requires medical treatment or even surgery. The insurance company will use your initial statement to argue that you were never injured and that any medical treatment you had is not related to the accident.
No matter what the insurance adjuster tells you, a recorded statement isn’t necessary for you to get money for your injuries and vehicle damage. There are some cases, such as when there is disputed liability, where giving a statement may be advisable – but only with the guidance of an attorney.
To be clear, we’re talking about giving a written or recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance carrier. When it comes to conversations with your own car insurance, you are generally contractually required to cooperate with their investigation and processing of your claim, which likely includes giving a recorded statement if requested. Even so, it is still a good idea to speak to your attorney before giving a recorded statement to anyone, even to your own insurance company.