Don’t hang up. HANG UP FAST!!!
People like to talk, and unfortunately, people who have been in accidents like to talk about their accidents. Insurance companies are very good at having friendly people calling up and taking recording statements. These statements are not designed to pass the time of day; they are designed to save the insurance company money and to guide the injured person to say things that will hurt him or her later.
While it is usually safe to give basic information, such as the location of the vehicle, and the name of one’s lawyer, it is definitely not a good idea to try to be smart. Good attorneys don’t advise their clients to give recorded statements to the other side because they know it cannot help them––oftentimes, it can only can hurt.
The insurance companies will frequently say, “Well if you don’t give me your client’s recorded statement, we cannot settle your claim.” This is usually just a trick. On occasion, we will give a written statement from our client as to how the accident happened, but this foils their attempt to influence our side and usually has no effect.
When you get to our office, empty your pockets! We’re amazed at the number of times that people discard their notes from the accident. We want to make sure that the client doesn’t just copy the number of the hit and run driver that hit him, or the name and phone number of the witness––we want to make sure that he or she actually gives us the piece of paper that includes this information, so aggressive defense lawyers can’t try to influence the jurors by arguing that the numbers could have been transposed.