The answer to this question is probably "no". Whether you have been hurt at work or in a personal injury accident like a car crash, the insurance adjuster for the other party may ask you to give a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask you specific questions regarding your claim. Some of these questions can be misleading or hard to understand, which can result in you making a costly mistake.
For example, let's say you hurt your back at work. If the insurance adjuster asked you "Have you ever had back problems before?" and you answered "no", but there are medical records showing you saw a chiropractor five years ago or saw your family doctor for a sore back 10 years ago, then your credibility has been damaged. Your credibility is very important in any injury case, and failing to disclose prior treatment may result in a denial of benefits or damages.
If you do remember prior pain or treatment, the better way to answer the question is to be honest and tell the insurance adjuster. Unless you are 100% sure you have not had pain or medical treatment before, the better answer would be "Not that I recall" or "I don't remember having any." That way, if there are medical records showing past pain or treatment, then your credibility is not damaged simply because you did not recall the prior problems or treatment. This is just one example of how you could detrimentally affect your case by consenting to a recorded statement without proper preparation.
When Should I Give a Statement?
Generally, you are under no obligation to give a "recorded" statement, but it may be in your best interest to give a non-recorded statement under the following circumstances:
- You were injured at work and the insurance adjuster is conducting an investigation into whether the insurance company will admit your claim and provide you with workers' compensation benefits. In most circumstances, if you tell the insurance adjuster you will give a statement but have been advised not to give a recorded statement, then you will be fine.
- You are making a claim against your own insurance company because you were involved in a car accident and the other driver either had no or not enough insurance coverage. Depending upon the terms of your insurance policy, you may be required to give a recorded statement or you will be considered to be not cooperating and your claim may be denied on that basis alone.
There are other considerations when deciding whether you should agree to give a recorded statement. If you have questions or concerns call our office now at 641-792-3595 or contact us online. If one of our attorneys is not immediately available, then ask to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss whether you should give a statement. In addition, you can request our free injury book that relates to your injury matter, which discusses recorded statements in more detail and explains your rights and responsibilities under Iowa injury laws.