After your truck accident, you most likely will receive a friendly-sounding call from the trucker’s insurance company if the driver caused your injuries. The adjuster may make it sound like he is truly interested in how you are feeling and your recovery. He may even ask you to provide a recorded statement and sign a blanket medical release, telling you these are standard procedures of the insurance company before settling your case. You may see no harm in agreeing since you have nothing to hide. After all, you were the victim, not the negligent party. However, this is exactly the wrong response to this request. Instead, you need to say no and contact an experienced truck accident attorney who can deal with these requests and help you negotiate a settlement.
Five Reasons Not to Agree to a Recorded Statement
In any communication you have with the insurance adjuster, you need to remember that he is not your friend and is not trying to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. His job is to deny your claim or reduce it as much as possible. A common tactic he will use to achieve that goal is to get you to agree to a recorded statement.
A recorded statement involves the adjuster asking you questions about the accident, your injuries, and other relevant information that is recorded and typed up into a written document. Reasons why you do not want to agree to this include:
- You are not required to give a recorded statement, and if the adjuster implies that you are required, he is misleading you.
- Your statements could be used against you in settlement negotiations and in court hearings, including your trial.
- The adjuster is an expert in taking these recorded statements and is looking for admissions by you as to your partial fault in causing the accident or other statements that he could twist to mean something harmful to your case.
- You may not know the extent of your injuries—especially since some medical conditions take days or weeks to develop—and could make your injuries sound less serious than they really are.
- You could forget to mention an important detail, say something wrong, or misinterpret the question—which could all be used against you later.
Should You Sign a Medical Authorization in Your Truck Accident Case?
You could be even more tempted to sign a blanket medical authorization when the adjuster explains he needs the medical records to show you were in fact injured. That makes sense, right? However, the adjuster also has a hidden agenda to go on a fishing expedition for other medical information he could use to deny your claim. You never want to sign a blanket medical authorization. Ways it could hurt your case include:
- An insurance company’s medical release will allow them to obtain all of your medical records—even ones from years ago. This allows the adjuster to obtain medical information that is private, could be sensitive, and is unnecessary to your case. In addition, the adjuster could discover an old injury to the same area where you were hurt in the truck crash and try to argue that this caused your current injury, not the accident.
- The medical release gives the adjuster the ability to obtain your medical records directly. It is best to get the needed records yourself, so you can review them to ensure only information regarding your current injury is included.
- The insurance adjuster could scrutinize the doctor’s notes to look for inconsistent statements you might have made to your doctor regarding your injuries and level of pain. He would use these statements to argue that your injuries were not related to the crash or were not as serious as you claim—all to deny or try to reduce your settlement amount.
- Your medical records could show that you have other medical conditions that require you to see a doctor frequently. The adjuster could maintain that your claim is worth less because of your other health problems that could have made your injuries worse.
Let an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Do the Talking for You
If you or a family member was injured in an accident caused by a trucker, one of your first steps should be to contact an experienced truck accident attorney. He can handle all the communications with the insurance adjuster, provide the medical records necessary to your case, and negotiate a settlement that provides you with the compensation you are entitled to. Start an online chat or call us at 888-795-6261 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal options.