When you are in a Utah car accident, one of the first action items an insurance company will do is call you and ask for a recorded adjuster interview. Here is why and when you should do an adjuster interview after a car accident.
What is an Car Accident Adjuster Interview?
When you are in a car accident, most of the time the insurance companies for each car involved in the car accident will call the witnesses and drivers for a recorded interview. This is the insurance company’s attempt to assess the damage, secure proper reserves of money to pay the potential claims, decrease fraud and to see who is at fault.
Generally, these interviews are recorded and they most certainly will be used against you in the future. Often, down the road when litigation breaks out over the car accident, the insurance defense attorney will not give your attorney a copy. Citing the work product rule.
These interviews will be conducted immediately after the car accident, oftentimes when the individual does not have an attorney, or is still beat up from the car accident.
Do I have to Give a Car Accident Adjuster Interview?
You have a contractual duty to cooperate with your own insurance company and provide them an adjuster interview after the Utah car accident. You have no such contract and duty to provide any other insurance company an interview after the car accident. Even though you don’t have to give an interview, there are some circumstances when you should. Nor do you immediately have to give your own insurance an interview. You should first get better, then hire an attorney and then give an interview. You will have to give an interview to your own insurance company, just within a reasonable time.
Should I Give a Car Accident Adjuster Interview?
As already mentioned, you must give your own insurance company an interview if they ask. You have a contractual duty to cooperate. The consequences for refusing to cooperate could be a voiding of your insurance policy, leaving you uninsured.
There are two circumstances when you should consider giving the at-fault driver’s insurance company a recorded interview.
(1) Effect on Later Negotiations. If you refuse to give an interview to the at-fault insurance company, this non-cooperation may spill over into later negotiations over your bodily injury claim. So, if the case is a true rear-end car accident, where it would be impossible for a wrong move during the interview, you should consider giving one. It will help the adjuster, and have a positive effect on later negotiations.
(2) Helps Settle the Claim. Often voluntarily doing an adjuster interview speeds up settling your car accident claim because it provides the adjuster with the information to get the claim settled. Insurance adjusters have to document their file before submitting their valuation of the claim to their supervisor. Not having an interview can slow this process down, or lead to the supervisor slowing the process down.
Can I Void An Adjuster Interview? Yes. See Utah Code Ann 78b-5-813 (20201).
There are certain circumstances you can void an adjuster interview. Generally if it was taken while you were still in the hospital, or within 15 days of being released from the hospital. See this article on voiding an adjuster interview here: https://www.gunterinjurylaw.com/voiding-an-adjuster-interview/
See the actual law below.
78B-5-813. Statement of injured person — When inadmissible as evidence.
Except as otherwise provided in Sections 78B-5-812 through 78B-5-816, any statement, either written or oral, obtained from an injured person within 15 days of an occurrence or while the person is confined in a hospital or sanitarium as a result of injuries sustained in the occurrence, and which statement is obtained by a person whose interest is adverse or may become adverse to the injured person, except a peace officer, is not admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding brought by or against the injured person for damages sustained as a result of the occurrence, unless:
(1) a written verbatim copy of the statement has been left with the injured party at the time the statement was taken; and
(2) the statement has not been disavowed in writing within 15 days of the date of the statement or within 15 days after the date of the injured person’s initial discharge from the hospital or sanitarium in which the person has been confined, whichever date is later.
Utah Personal Injury Attorney Jake Gunter. Let’ his nearly 20 years’ experience work for you. (801) 373-6345.
When you are in a Utah car accident, you should hire an attorney and have your attorney present during these interviews. You should also consult with your personal injury attorney whether to give an interview in the first place to at-fault insurance companies.
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