Two scenarios occur shortly after a motor vehicle accident. Your own automobile insurance carrier or a carrier providing PIP benefits may call you and request a recorded statement also known as an Examination Under Oath. This is a sworn statement conducted by your insurance carrier and although required should never be given without retaining an attorney experienced in accident law and procedure. The following is an excerpt of the statute mandating the insured/claimant’s contractual /statutory authority to request what is known as an EUO.
An insured seeking benefits under ss. 627.730–627.7405, including an omnibus insured, must comply with the terms of the policy, which include, but are not limited to, submitting to an examination under oath. The scope of questioning during the examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. Compliance with this paragraph is a condition precedent to receiving benefits. An insurer that, as a general business practice as determined by the office, requests an examination under oath of an insured or an omnibus insured without a reasonable basis is subject to §626.9541 Fla. Stat. (2016).
The second scenario occurs as follows:
After you have been in a car accident in Florida, the other driver’s insurance carrier will likely call you and say they want to take your recorded statement. Should you give a recorded statement to the insurance carrier? You may think this is a good time to tell your side of the story. After all, you’re not at fault for the crash. Under no circumstances should you comply with this request. This request is exactly that, the recorded statement is not required by statute and since there is no contract between the injured party and the carrier for the at fault party there is no requirement to submit to the request for a recorded statement. Again,under no circumstances should you comply with this request. The simple reason not to submit to a recorded statement is it becomes the story set in stone and impossible to change.
Another reason to seriously question if you should give a recorded statement to the insurance company is that it can be damaging to your case due to the nature of injuries that typically occur after a car crash. Immediately after a crash, your adrenaline is pumping and your heart is racing. All of us realize that motor vehicle accidents and the types of acceleration/deceleration injuries (a/k/a whiplash) often do not appear until a few days post-accident. You may not notice the amount of pain you’re in. The insurance adjuster will try to contact you for a statement shortly after your accident. If you decide to give them a recorded statement, you may say during your statement that you didn’t suffer any injuries or that you’re not in any pain
Then, a few days later, you may begin to experience stiffness, soreness, or pain. It turns out that you actually were injured from your car crash. However, your recorded statement to the insurance company says otherwise. It will become an uphill battle to get the other driver’s insurance company to pay your medical bills. They will argue that since you said you were not injured at the time of your statement, your medical bills are a “cash grab.” This can be an uphill battle for your attorney to fight against.
Don’t be fooled. This is an unfair claim practice. Let your lawyer know immediately. The other driver’s insurance carrier is not required to pay your bills unless ordered to do so by a judge after a trial. And they are unlikely to pay for anything until you are ready to settle your entire injury claim. Giving a recorded statement to the insurance carrier does not mean the insurance carrier will immediately begin to pay your medical bills. It is likely your statement will do more harm than good.
Because these tactics are so often used to fool injured car accident victims, our firm only allows, if at all, our clients to speak with the other driver’s insurance company when one of our attorneys is present. We make sure our clients are protected from the shady methods used by insurance companies.
If an insurance company is calling you for a recorded statement after a car crash, call DRG LAW FIRM today at 305 764-9907. One of our accident attorneys will advise you on the next steps to take.
§626.736(6)(g) Fla. Stat. (2016).