So you’ve been hurt in a car crash near Culpeper or Warrenton, and the insurance company is being very nice to you. It seems like everything is going well, and they ask you for a recorded statement. What do you say? Sure, why not!
WAIT! The last thing you want to do right now is give a recorded statement to the insurance company. Why? I'll give you two reasons:
- Insurance companies need to make a profit. First, we want you to understand a few basic things about insurance companies. One, they are in the business of making money. Two, paying out a lot of money on accident claims gets in the way of making money. If you understand those two things, you’ll be well on your way to avoiding one of the many insurance company traps.
- The recorded statement is a trap. A recorded statement is a kind of trap. The insurance company will nicely ask you to give a recorded statement, all the while planning to try to get you to admit that you were partially to blame for the accident. They do this because in Virginia there is such a thing as “contributory negligence.” If they can get you to admit to that on tape, they've got you.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence means that if you are partially—even just a little bit—responsible for the accident, there is a good chance that you will NOT be able to receive compensation for the accident. So, if you want to avoid the insurance company twisting your words in a way that will make it sound like you shared some blame for the accident, do not give them a recorded statement!
“But what if, maybe, it was my fault…?”
Don’t let the insurance company guilt you into thinking that you are partially to blame for the crash. Remember that insurance adjusters and everyone you speak with at the company is well trained in protecting the company’s bottom line. YOU need to remember that just because you were speeding, or just because you didn’t use a turn signal or maybe you did not see the other car does NOT mean that the accident was partially your fault. Think about it. People speed every day, and accidents don’t automatically happen to them. There is a reason that your crash happened, and it may have had nothing to do with you!
Let a Car Accident Attorney Be the Judge
Whatever you do, please talk to an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer before you speak to the insurance company, sign anything from them, or give them any kind of statement. A skilled attorney knows all the insurance company tricks and can help you protect your rights to fair and just compensation.
Please contact Dulaney, Lauer and Thomas today. In Warrenton you can reach us at 540-341-0007 or toll-free at 888-907-2631; in Culpeper at 540-825-6046 or toll-free at 800-741-1012.