The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming and painful. When you’re in the hospital or at home recovering from your injuries, a representative from the truck driver’s insurance company may attempt to contact you. This representative may ask you to give a recorded statement, claiming that you are required to do so, or that unless you do so, they will not deal with you. This representative may be very polite and sound like he or she is concerned about you, and lead you to believe that the insurance company will ultimately treat you fairly. However, you should not agree to provide a statement and should not speak to the insurance company before you talk to an attorney. The insurance company is concerned about only one thing: minimizing its financial exposure. The truth is that insurance companies want to receive this recorded statement to use against you in the future.
One of the most important factors to remember about insurance companies is that they are not on your side. The insurance company has to pay for the injuries you suffer because of the truck accident. It is not in their best interest to provide you with the maximum settlement you need to recover. Any money that the insurance company offers you will come at a price to you. That price to you is that you will be required to sign a full and final release of all liability—past, present and future—in exchange for receiving any money from the insurance company. If you rush into a settlement with the insurance company too soon after a trucking accident, and your recovery stalls or does not go the way you had hoped, you are bound by the release you signed. You will not have the right to seek any additional compensation.
The moments after a truck accident are often confusing and disorienting. You do not know all of the facts of the accident at this time. You do not know what the truck driver was doing at the time of the accident. You do not know how severe or permanent your injuries are at the moment. You may not even know what the cause of the accident was and who was truly at fault. You are in a vulnerable, painful state – and the insurance company wants to use this to its advantage.
When you give the company a recorded statement, you will have to relate what happened in your accident as you know them in that moment. Since you do not know the facts of your case yet, you may say something that is not factual, or incorrect, or you could downplay the actual extent of your injuries.