Giving Personal Injury Statements to Adjusters
After an incident, typical claims adjusters do everything in their power to record a claimant’s statement in order to minimize their company’s payout. Therefore, claimants unfamiliar with adjusters’ schemes often seek legal counsel before interacting with a claims adjuster.
Why does an adjuster want to take a claimant’s statement?
A claimant’s statement can help a claims adjuster determine the insurance company’s liability. For instance, if the adjuster discovers that the claimant was injured doing something excluded from the insurer’s policy, the insurance company may refuse to pay any expenses incurred as a result of the injury. Insurance companies also gather witness statements for evidence.
How does an adjuster typically take a statement?
There are two categories of statements:
- Recorded statements
- Signed statements
Recorded statements are more common because they can be gathered over the telephone, saving adjusters time spent traveling to and from in-person meetings with claimants.
When an adjuster gathers a recorded statement, he or she will:
- ask a claimant a personalized series of questions;
- request the injured claimant review the document for accuracy and verify its accuracy with a signature;
- request a witness verify the claimant’s signature;
- generate a written copy of the statement.
Does an adjuster have to provide the claimant with a copy of the statement?
The adjuster does not have to provide the claimant with a copy of the completed statement unless specifically asked for one. Any injury lawyer would recommend that a client ask for a carbon copy of the statement immediately after its completion, as it can be difficult for a claimant to receive a copy afterwards.