Should I give a recorded statement to the defendant's insurance company?
No, not unless you're just in the mood to be skinned. Insurance adjusters take recorded statements in an effort to find an excuse not to pay a claim. By giving a recorded statement you won't help and you may hurt yourself.
As a Tyler injury attorney I am regularly requested by insurance companies, particularly in auto accident cases, to allow an adjuster to take a recorded statement from my client. As a general rule I do not allow my clients to give recorded statements. I will listen to the adjuster and consider their request for a recorded statement if they present a rational basis for their request.
A good example of when I might allow my client to give a recorded statement is the situation where a drunk driver caused an accident, got out of the wrecked car and fled on foot and then hired a criminal defense lawyer who advised him not to give any information to anyone out of fear of criminal prosecution. In that situation the adjuster might have a legitimate need to have my client specifically describe the driver of the at-fault vehicle in order to confirm that the drunken driver was one of their named insureds, or at least someone authorized to be driving the car, and that there was thus coverage for the accident. If the insurance carrier is not able to confirm that the intoxicated driver was covered by their insurance policy they may very well not be willing to proceed with the matter and thus it may be in my client’s best interest to give a statement.
However, insurance adjusters generally request recorded statements in an effort to find an excuse not to pay benefits. They are not seeking the truth. This is why so many recorded statements focus on questions about unrelated injuries, preexisting conditions or things that the victim might have done which contributed in some small way to the accident. In order to illustrate an insurance adjusters lack of any real interest in the truth I have often times told them that I think recorded statements are a wonderful idea and if they will bring their insured to my offices I will have my client come in and we can each take a recorded statement of the other driver and determine what really happened in the accident. In my 30 years as a Tyler auto accident attorney I have never had an insurance adjuster accept this proposal.