What is a Recorded Statement, and Why Is It Relevant?

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

After being in a car accident, it is natural to do everything you can to process your claim as quickly and simply as possible. However, providing a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurer in hopes of speeding up the processing of your claim could even cost you the entire compensation you could obtain for your case.

Generally, the goal of an insurance company facing a personal injury claim is to pay the plaintiff as little as possible, not what is necessarily fair. To ensure this goal, insurers will try a variety of dishonest tricks, including using your own words against you.

While a recorded statement is not given under oath, the contents of it can be used as evidence against you when filing a personal injury claim. Some of the reasons why it is advisable not to give a recorded statement to an insurer include:

  • The interviewer may ask misleading questions designed to get you to provide incriminating information.
  • The interviewer may prompt you to speculate about the cause of the incident, making your testimony less credible or giving you room to argue that you are to blame for your injuries.
  • The interviewer may use your statement to create doubt about the seriousness of your injuries or to imply that your injuries were caused by reasons outside of the accident for which you have filed your claim.
  • Your nerves and emotions can be used against you, presenting your version of events as dishonest or untrue.
  • If your first language is not English, the interviewer could intentionally misinterpret your answers.

While an insurer has the right to request statements from you before providing any statement, it is important to remember that there is no legal obligation for the defendant’s insurer to declare. One way that many recommend to handle this part of the process is to hire a personal injury attorney and commission them to handle all communications involving insurance companies.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.