Careful What You Say to the Other Driver's Insurance Company after an Accident
At the Dover Law Firm, we're often asked whether it's okay to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver's insurance company after an accident. Our answer is simple and straightforward:
Never give an insurance company a recorded statement without a lawyer. It is one of the fastest ways to ruin your case. Time and time again we have seen where clients have given a recorded statement before they were represented by an attorney and it has come back to cause them all sorts of problems.
Shortly after an accident, the at-fault person’s insurance company may call and ask you to give a recorded statement regarding the facts of the accident. Though they may sound friendly and caring, they are searching for information that will hurt you in the long run.
First, they will want to determine whether you could have avoided the accident. In Georgia there is a legal doctrine called the last clear chance. This doctrine states that if you have the opportunity to avoid an accident and you fail to take precautions to avoid the accident, then you are not entitled to recover for your injuries. Also, in Georgia if you are equally at fault you collect nothing.
Remember, it can take days or weeks for the full extent of your injuries to become clear. Initially you might think you feel fine, but after a few days or weeks your condition deteriorates. It is not uncommon to take pain medication following an accident, and the medication can make it seem as if your injuries are less serious than they really are. We’ve seen cases where people end up needing surgery after thinking they were fine. But, if the insurance company has a recording of you saying that, after the accident, you did not feel too bad, they will attempt to use that statement against you to deny your claim. Never agree to provide a recorded statement without an attorney present.
At the Dover Law Firm, we only provide recorded statements from our clients under very limited circumstances. When we do allow our clients to give recorded statements, we are present and we limit the scope of the questioning to the details of the accident itself; we do not allow questions regarding previous accidents or injuries, and we do not allow questions regarding injuries from this accident.
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