The quick answer is NO – not without someone on YOUR side!
Soon after your injury, you will likely start getting letters and phone calls from the “at-fault” insurance adjuster. If you were hurt on someone’s property, the insurance adjuster for the homeowner’s insurance policy will contact you (or if you fell at a business, the insurance adjuster for the insurance liability carrier will contact you). If you were hurt in a car crash or a tractor trailer accident, the insurance adjuster for the insurance company that represents the careless driver will contact you.
Why? Well, the insurance company needs information to process your claim. They want to know your side of the story – what happened, what you saw, if your car is damaged, where you are hurt, and where you are treating for your injuries. This may sound innocent enough but unfortunately, most insurance adjusters are also trained to lock you into your story and, even worse, try to get you to settle or forego your claim even before you know your rights or speak with an injury attorney.
The insurance adjuster will likely ask you for a recorded statement. While you do eventually need to tell them what happened and what your injuries are, it is always better to have your attorney in person or on the call during this recorded statement. Sometimes, the adjuster will ask you questions that are impossible for you to answer ie, your exact speed at the time of impact, how many seconds the traffic light was red, etc. Most of my clients want to be helpful and forthcoming so they will give answers to these questions even though they don’t know the answer – they will guess. You shouldn’t guess. This isn’t a test. You only have to tell them what you know. Also, if you are in pain after the car accident, you might be on pain medication which can alter your thinking and memory. You don’t want to lock yourself into statements that might not even be accurate. If your car crash lawyer is there with you, he/she can make sure the questions are fair and protect your rights.
Your own insurance company may also call you and ask for a recorded statement. You do need to provide information to your insurance company too but there is absolutely no reason for you to do so without the protection of an attorney. If you have been hurt on a property or in a car crash or truck crash and the adjuster is calling you for information, politely tell the adjuster that you are going to get an attorney first. Then, get an attorney and learn your rights.