By Jedidiah McKeehan
When involved in an accident where you may be seeking compensation from someone for your injuries, there is usually an insurance company that gets involved.
The insurance company is the entity that might be paying you for the injuries you received during the accident.
For example, you are rear-ended by another driver. The other driver’s insurance will probably be paying you for your incurred medical expenses and your damages.
Before just writing you a check, the insurance company will investigate to clarify who was responsible for the accident and how badly you are hurt. As part of that investigation, they will normally have you do a sworn statement interview with them.
This may be done in person or over the phone, but what you say during this statement will play a huge factor in determining what the insurance company offers to pay you for your case, if anything.
These statements can be a little nerve-wracking because you may feel like the insurance company representative is trying to trick you. I am not sure if they will be trying to outright trick you, but they may suggest to you that your injuries are not that bad or that you are not sure if the accident was your fault or the other driver’s fault. Honestly though, the insurance company employees conduct so many of these interviews they do not have time to put into leading people one way or another.
What I do see a lot though is that everyone wants to overshare. They want to ramble on and on, and by doing so, they may hurt their case by disclosing or saying something that they did not need to share.
Do you need an attorney to get through this statement? Of course not, but it’s not a bad idea. Having someone in the room with you to prepare you and then to have your back if the questions go in a direction not really appropriate is never a bad thing.
One misnomer that I see thrown around is that people become very proud of the fact that, “they are not the kind of people who sue other people.” Okay, I get it, and I appreciate that you feel that way, but at this stage you are not suing anyone and you are not asking any person to reach in to their own pocket and dig out money to hand over to you. We are talking about asking for money from an insurance company. Let’s all remember that the entire purpose of insurance is for situations just like this where someone has been hurt and someone needs to compensate them.
Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.