If you’ve been in a car accident in Vancouver you may be asked by ICBC to give a recorded statement. When that happens, you have to decide whether or not to give that statement. Here’s a bit of information to help you make that decision.
Why Is A Recorded Statement Taken?
If you agree to give a recorded statement, the adjuster will ask you about the facts surrounding the accident and about your injuries. That seems reasonable, right? Well…not really. I say that because the adjuster is not really playing fair with you. The questions the adjuster asks are designed to minimize the insurance company’s exposure. The insurance adjuster will ask you questions and lock you in to an answer. The danger of giving these statements is that you may inadvertently leave out some details, or you may not yet know the full extent of your injuries. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding whether to give a recorded statement–the purpose of the statement is so the insurance company can use it against you later.
Be Prepared For The Recorded Statement
If you do decide to give a statement, be prepared. Prior to giving the statement, gather all the documents you have regarding the accident. At this point in the process, those documents may only include the police report and some documents from an emergency room visit. Whatever documents you have, be sure to have them with you at the time of the recorded statement. Also, have a clear understanding of the facts surrounding the accident such as what direction you were traveling and the name of the street you were traveling on.
Here are some topics you can expect to be asked about:
Personal, background information Descriptions of both vehicles Occupants of both vehicles Description of accident Mechanical condition of vehicle Weather, road and lighting conditions Actions just prior to accident Accident facts such as the points of impact, speed of the vehicles, etc. Cause of accident Investigating officers Who received a ticket, if anyone Obstructions to visibility The existence and placement of skid marks Road surface Your injuries and the injuries of anyone in the vehicle with you The impact–what parts of your body hit what parts of the vehicle Witnesses Statements made by anyone after the accident
The Bottom Line
Giving a recorded statement gives you no advantage, but gives the insurance company a large advantage. Therefore, if your province or state does not require you to give a recorded statement, it is usually best not to give one.