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Lombardi Law Firm

Do you have to give the insurance company's adjuster a recorded statement?

Steve Lombardi
Iowa civil trial, workers' compensation and personal injury lawyer

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Steve Lombardi
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Why does the insurance adjuster want to take my statement?

Adjusting claims isn’t about being fair – it’s about paying less. I this post I'll prove to you adjusting claims isn’t about being fair. And my guess is adjusters agree.


Assumption #1: The insurance company is on my side.


Adjusting claims isn’t about being fair – it’s about paying less and no, not even the aduster from your own car insurance company is on your side; I don't care what the commercial says. In case you need a reminder here is a commercial about being "on your side."



Okay, let's get back to reality. There are two reasons for wanting to take your statement and neither is in your best interest.


Insurance adjuster talk to those filing claims for two reasons and only two reasons.


Reason 1. See if they can get you to say something that gives them a reason to deny your claim.


Reason 2. See if they can get you to say something that allows them to pay you less than the law reasonably requires.

The adjuster get's bragging rights at the office if he does.


Am I correct there can only be two reasons (objectives) to talk to you? After 30 years I think I'm right. but how about if you try to prove me wrong?

Here is my proof: Name one adjuster, who has ever said to someone filing a claim,


Adjuster: “How much do you want to settle your claim?"


Claimant: “Well, how about a $1,000.00 for the pain and suffering?”


Adjuster: “A $1,000.00? No I can’t pay you that much, it wouldn’t be fair. You’re entitled to more than what you’ve asked me to pay you. How about if I pay you more than you asked for, would you accept more?”


Okay Taser guy this is your chance to beat me in an argument. Just find me a place on one insurance company website that tells those who are injured by their insured that the value of their wage loss, time, pain/suffering is worth more or that the quality of life has any value whatsoever. In fact find me one insurance company website that tells you what categories of damages the law in your state allows for compensation. Get going Taser guy it's a big world out there.


Assumption #2: I’m an honest person and the adjuster will see that after talking to me and treat me with respect.


"I won't need a lawyer, because I'll be honest with the adjuster and they will see that and be honest with me."

After a car accident, for the most part many people start off thinking that being fair and honest will carry the day. Most people’s definition of fairness and honesty has to do with talking long and telling it all and then the insurance benefit engine will start up and the claim will miraculously get settled. That’s because many people believe that honesty is something missing from the insurance-legal system. They think lawyers lie and cheat for their clients and ultimately steal from the insurance companies. You can think that if you want to, but it’s simply not true.




The naïve person thinks that after an accident they are the first honest person to ever enter the insurance system. And they think they being different, honest, will carry the day. Again, their understanding of being honest is simply to tell it all and the system will bend over backwards at the prospect of finally there is an honest person making an insurance claim.

FROM THE ANNALS OF INSURANCE HISTORY: “Oh my! My fellow adjusters, I’ve just spoken on the phone with the first honest person in the history of insurance!” October 2009

Is this you? Is this what you think because of how you've been brain washed by those yelling for tort reform? Okay, I thought so; now keep that thought in mind because later on you'll need to rethink it too.


Remember the Gong Show? Can you hear the gong that gets pounded every time a bad act is done? At this moment in your new found legal career of handling your own claim you should hear it loud and clear. (A lawyer representing themselves has a fool for a client.)



Remember that even Steve Martin was gonged. Here he is playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown, sort of what you're in when you control your own case.



Your assumptions are all wrong. You need a new perspective. Like anything in life there are bad lawyers just like there are bad landscapers. But not all lawyers are bad just because there is one bad one. Remember, even the rich run to lawyers after a car accident. Oops sorry! I wasn't supposed to tell you that.


Lawyers lose their licenses for lying and cheating. Clients go to jail. Adjusting claims isn’t about being fair – it’s about paying less.


Assumption #3: I can’t refuse to give a “recorded” statement.


There is nothing wrong with refusing to give a recorded statement to the opposing adjuster. If your lawyer says to do it then do it, but while unrepresented it is perfectly fine to decline such an invitation by the adjuster for the other guy's insurance company. Simply say that until you are represented you would rather not give a recorded statement. If the adjuster insists or implies that by refusing to do so you are admitting fault or acting suspicious, then you have your marching orders to hire a lawyer.


FROM THE ANNALS OF INSURANCE HISTORY: Did you know when adjusters are involved in a car accident, like the rich and famous, they too hire personal injury lawyers?


Many people believe being honest is the best policy and so when pressed they will accept the insurance adjuster's firm offer (demand) to submit to a recorded statement, because to do otherwise may appear dishonest. This is a trick they are taught. Honesty has nothing to do with declining this invitation until you are represented and have an opportunity to be prepared by a lawyer to do it in a way that doesn't prejudice your claim. People use words in lay conversation that if used in a legal contexts have a completely different meaning. A professional adjuster knows how and when to cut you off from explaining what you've just said before he turned on the recorder; allowing him to create a false impression that you did not explain something you said, therefore the false impression must be true. Until a lay person understands how false impressions can be created through questioning by highly skilled and trained insurance adjusters, they are at a big disadvantage. And remember, once you give a false impression because you used the wrong words or failed to take control of the process and explain what you meant, a later explanation will always ring hollow.


So my advice is simple, turn down the offer that is coming to allow a recorded statement and get a lawyer. And it should be a lawyer familiar with the process who knows how to teach you to understand the pitfalls of the process. That's enough for todays lesson. Has the Taser guy found an example where the insurance industry tells all about the guy who they paid more too? I didn't think so.


I’ve covered this in previous posts, which you may find useful.


Insurance adjusters and the recorded statement. | InjuryBoard Des ...

... Insurance adjusters and the recorded statement. ... Believe it or not you can decline to give a recorded statement. There is no law ...


"I won't need a lawyer, because I'll be honest with the adjuster ...

... Here I can prove to you adjusting claims isn’t about being fair. Let’s begin with the recorded statement. You asked me this question: ...


Solving Legal Problems, Being a Client, Back to the Basics ...

... 7. Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement? One more thing, we could use another attorney to join in writing on the seventh day. ...


Why does the insurance adjuster want to take my statement ...

- 5:11am

Welcome to the Lombardi Law Firm website. Being prepared isn't the same ...


Here on the Injuryboard we are covering commonly asked questions that clients ask. Read the works from Rich Shapiro, Pierce Egerton, Mike Bryant, Devon Glass and myself, Steve Lombardi. The titles in this series are listed below.


I was in an automobile accident. What should I do? Ten Tips For Hawaii Drivers, Wayne Parsons on September 14, 2009 - 3:59 AM EST.


What would a caveman bring to meet with the lawyer?, Steve Lombardi , September 15, 2009 11:00 AM


Solving Legal Problems, Being a Client, Back to the Basics, Steve Lombardi , September 15, 2009 8:48 AM


Car Accident Injury Client: What Makes the Case Good or Bad? (The Collision & Medical Care) , Rick Shapiro September 16, 2009 9:38 AM


Being a Client: More Tips To Help Improve Your Case If You've Been In An Car Accident , Devon Glass , September 17, 2009 8:39 AM


Presumed Guilty: How to Avoid Having Insult Added to Injury When You’ve Been Hurt in a Car Crash, Pierce Egerton , September 18, 2009 4:28 PM


What To Do After An Accident When The Adjuster Is There First, Mike Bryant | September 19, 2009 6:26 PM


What Questions Is The Lawyer Going To Ask Me At The Initial Interview For My Injury Or Death Case?, Wayne Parsons | 20 September 2009 12:01


What makes a case good or bad?, Steve Lombardi, 21 September 2009 12:57 PM


What To Do After An Accident When The Adjuster Has A Tape Recorder, Mike Bryant , September 23, 2009 10:01 PM


Do I have a good or a bad case?, Devon Glass, September 24, 2009


What are interrogatories and how do I answer them?, Steve Lombardi, September 29, 2009


Interrogatories: A Written Deposition , Devon Glass, September 30, 2009


How Do You Value Your Case? Mike Bryant October 03, 2009 9:29 AM


Demystifying Injury Litigation for Clients: What Are Interrogatories?, October 3, 2009, Rick Shapiro

Category: Client Trial-Deposition Preparation

1 Comments to "Do you have to give the insurance company's adjuster a recorded statement?"

I refused to give the insurance adjuster a recorded statement based on my 5th Amendment Rights
V Marcheti
Posted by Vic Marcheti on November 1, 2011 at 04:14 PM

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