Requests for Recorded Statements: One Suggestion on How Attorneys Should Respond

In a comment to my May 22, 2006 post on giving recorded statements to insurance companies, Atlanta personal injury lawyer Ken Shigley makes a great point about how lawyers can knock insurance companies off their moral high ground when an injury victim’s car accident lawyer refuses to give a recorded statement. In the same way that innocent people accused of a crime feel compelled to talk to police because they do not want to look like they have something to hide, personal injury lawyers felt a little uncomfortable when refusing to allow a recorded statement. The refusal makes the lawyer feel like he or she has something to hide, even when there is nothing to hide. Every lawyer (okay, most lawyers) wants to be a straight shooter, willing to lay their cards on the table. But giving a recorded statement is against the attorney’s client’s interests, even when the attorney knows that the client was not at fault for the accident and has been seriously injured in the car accident.

Instead of refusing the request, Ken suggests that personal injury lawyers offer that both parties meet to give recorded statements. The insurance adjuster invariably has to refuse the request because it is against company policy to allow for a recorded statement. Ken points out the result is the same, but it knocks the insurance company off its high horse and makes the lawyer “feel good.”

This might be an obvious point to some, but I am asked for a recorded statement several times a week, sometimes (but not usually) with a condescending “what does your client have to hide?” tone, and have never thought to give this response. I literally just used it with a Nationwide adjuster about 10 minutes ago.

  • When should you give a recorded statement to the insurance company?  This 2018 Maryland Court of Appeals case sheds extra light on this question in uninsured motorist cases.
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