Auto Insurance: Recorded Statement vs. Examination Under Oath

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law-education-series-2-1467427Recorded Statement. Of the two forms of questioning discussed in this blog post with regard to auto insurance, the recorded statement will occur first. Insurance companies will often request that you provide a documented account of the accident via phone conversation with an insurance representative. Very likely this will take place from your St. Petersburg home. In some instances, it will very likely be necessary to participate in a recorded statement; however, it is not always mandatory. Given the fact that the recorded statement is rarely a benefit to you, it is best to avoid giving the statement if possible.

You are usually not required to give a statement to any insurance company other than your own. Your own insurance company is likely covering the cost of your medical care, thanks to your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The insurance agency may refuse to continue the PIP coverage if you refuse to give the recorded statement. So, don’t refuse, but do consult your Saint Petersburg personal injury attorney first. We will walk you through the process and will always require that we are on the phone with you while you give your statement to monitor the questions and keep the insurance company from going overboard with their questioning.

Examination Under Oath (EUO). If this occurs, it happens a little later in the legal process than the initial recorded statement, and it is a bit more formal. Not all accident victims will be required to participate in an EUO, but many will, and it is important to accept this as part of the process. Refusing the request or ignoring it all together can lead to a claim being refused all together.

At the EUO, you will be sworn in, much as you would be in court. There will also be a court reporter present to transcribe the questioning. Under oath, you must provide truthful answers to the questions asked of you. It is a good idea to be well-prepared for this undertaking because it can be intimidating and is often conducted by an insurance company attorney who is trained to asked questions in a way that may make you seem untrustworthy, unlikable, or angry.

While you are not required to have an attorney present at an EUO, it is wise to have a legal representative on your side there. These individuals are professional, experienced, and able to help you prepare for the line of questioning that will come your way. Furthermore, informing the insurance company that you have hired an attorney will result in future matters being addressed to the attorney, rather than you having to field those calls yourself.

Similarities. While the recorded statement and the examination under oath do differ, there are definite similarities between the two, and both can play a big part in your case. Both will focus on questions related to the accident, and particularly those that reference how you were feeling before, during, and after the crash, as well as how the accident occurred. Some of the questions that you may be asked include:

• What do you remember from the moments leading up to the accident?
• Who do you think caused the accident? Why?
• Did you do something that increased the likelihood or the severity of the accident?
• Did you have physical pain after the accident?
• Did you agree to medical treatment after the crash? Were you transported by an ambulance?
• How have you felt since the accident?
• Did you speak to anyone, other than the police, at the scene of the accident?

These are just a few examples of the questions that you may be asked, and they certainly could be phrased differently. The idea of both the EUO and the recorded statement is to get your account of the accident and the aftermath.

The two forms of questioning are also similar in that there are tactics employed to catch you in a lie, or to cause you hesitation so you will admit to some level of guilt in the accident.

Always consult a personal injury attorney before participating in either a recorded statement or an examination under oath. To speak to an insurance attorney about your rights after a car accident, contact Herman & Wells today.