The Wide, Wide World of Personal Injury Attorneys

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The Wide, Wide World of Personal Injury Attorneys

When you think of personal injury cases, you probably picture two parties standing in front of a judge who decides how much one party has to pay the other. Indeed, this is how some personal injury cases end up being concluded. But many are actually settled out of court. Your attorney files a suit against the defendant, and then the defendant's lawyer presents you with an offer for a certain amount of money if you agree not to go to court. You and your personal injury attorney decide whether or not to accept that offer, which is called a settlement. As you can see, personal injury lawyers do a lot more than just go to court. You can learn more about the many nuances of their jobs on this blog.


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Can You Retract A Statement Given To An Insurance Company?

When you're involved in an auto accident, the other party's insurance company will contact you and ask for your version of events. You are not required to give them a statement, but insurance adjusters have a number of psychological tricks in their bag to make people talk. Unfortunately, once you give a recorded statement, you can't retract it and it will be used against you in the claim process. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself.

Ask for a Transcript

The first thing you should do is ask—in writing—the insurance adjuster for a copy of a transcript of the call. The transcript will show you exactly what you said to the adjuster as well as the adjuster's responses. This can help you see which statements may be a problem for you and help you and your attorney craft responses that will mitigate their effect.

Be aware that the adjuster may claim a transcript of the call is not available. Don't believe the person. The statements you make are critical to the company's investigation, so there most assuredly will be a recording of the call. If the adjuster continues to refuse to send the transcript to you, alert your attorney and/or file a complaint with the insurance commissioner in your state.

Gather Evidence to Support Your Updated Story

It's not unusual for a person's story to change as time goes by and they remember more details. If the new version of your story is significantly different from what you told the insurance adjuster, then you need to obtain evidence that supports your changed statements. For instance, if you told the adjuster you went into the intersection on a yellow light but the light was actually green, get the recording from the nearby traffic camera showing what color the light was at that time.

If direct evidence is not available, gather as much circumstantial evidence as possible. Medical reports, mechanic's notes, and witness statements can provide information needed to support your version of events or at least refute the insurance company's interpretation of your original statement. The insurance adjuster tries to claim you didn't suffer any injury at the accident site because you said you didn't feel any pain, for example. You can submit medical reports clearly showing you sustained bodily injuries that weren't detected until later due to the nature of those injuries (for example, soft tissue injuries can take weeks to show up).

For more information about handling this type of problem or assistance with litigating an auto accident case, contact a local lawyer or go to sites like