Are Recorded Statements Required in Car Accident Claims?
No, recorded statements are not required in car accident claims. You may want to avoid it since the insurance adjuster may use what you say against you during negotiations.
Instead, a personal injury lawyer on our team can handle communication with them, as well as other parties, on your behalf. They are familiar with the questionable tactics they employ and can protect your rights throughout the claims process.
What Should You Do If an Insurance Provider Contacts You?
You are not legally obligated to speak with the opposing party’s insurance company. Additionally, once you hire an attorney, they take on all communication for you. However, if an insurance adjuster contacts you:
Do Not Agree to a Recording
Recorded statements are not required in car accident claims. If an insurance agent asks if they can record your phone call, politely decline. If the insurance company asks you to record a statement at a later date, do not agree to do so without consulting your lawyer.
Do Not Discuss Details of Your Car Accident
You can provide insurance adjusters with basic facts, such as your name, address, contact information, and the date, time, and location of your crash. However, do not give specifics about your injuries and current and future medical treatment.
In general, avoid talking about your accident with anyone other than your doctors and legal team. Don’t post about your accident and injuries on social media. The insurer may find your posts and use what you said against you when your attorney starts negotiations.
For example, if you wrote a status about your accident but said you were okay, the insurer may refuse to pay out your claim.
Do Not Accept an Initial Settlement Offer
The insurance company may extend you an offer. Do not agree to a settlement or sign any documents without talking to your attorney. Insurance companies aim to protect their bottom line, so they may undervalue your claim.
Your attorney can work to obtain the settlement you need and help ensure the insurer acts in good faith.
Virginia Drivers Are Financially Liable for Accidents They Cause
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), motorists must have automobile liability insurance to pay for injuries and damages they cause during a collision. Drivers must have the following minimum coverage amounts:
- Policies effective before Jan. 1, 2022: $25,000 for injury or death to one person/$50,000 for injury or death to two or more people/$20,000 in property damages
- Policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2022: $30,000 for injury or death to one person/$60,000 for injury or death to two or more people/$20,000 in property damages
- Policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2025: $50,000 for injury or death to one person/$100,000 for injury or death to two or more people/$25,000 in property damages
We can help you file a claim or personal injury lawsuit and fight for compensation. We can also assist with claims against any optional, applicable policies you hold, such as medical payments or uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
Common Car Accident Damages
Common damages you can include in your car accident claim or lawsuit include:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings and benefits
- Lost earning capacity
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Scarring and disfigurement
- The wrongful death of a loved one
To secure financial recovery, you must prove that the driver who caused your accident and injuries did so through negligent, reckless, or wrongful behavior. We can prove negligence using evidence, which may include eyewitness statements, medical records, police reports, surveillance video, and more.
We can build a robust case so that you can turn your time and energy toward what is most important: your health and your family.
Do Not Wait Too Long To Get Started
Get started on your case as soon as possible. Insurance companies set deadlines for filing car accident claims, so check with the insurer to ensure you meet theirs. However, you may also have to comply with another deadline called the statute of limitations. This deadline corresponds with lawsuits instead of claims.
According to Va. Code § 8.01-243, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia. Va. Code § 8.01-244 also usually allows two years to sue for the wrongful death of a loved one.
You want to allow ample time to work through your case and take legal action if necessary. If you’re too late to file, the other party may no longer be liable for paying your damages.
Contact the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, for Help with Your Car Accident Claim
If the insurer contacts you after a car accident, remember you are not required to give them a recorded statement.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, can help you start your car accident claims today. Reach out to us for a free consultation and learn more about working with a personal injury lawyer at our firm.