A great answer below:
- What is a Recorded Statement?
- 3 Challenges of a Recorded Statement
- What to Ask Your Claimant
What is a Recorded Statement in Investigations?
A Recorded Statement is an SIU service that consists of taking a video or audio interview. During which the claimant will state the details of their car accident, property claim, or Workers’ Compensation claim.
What are the 3 challenges of Recorded Statements?
1. Finding the right investigators
Not all investigators are the same. Some investigators are more talented at recording witness statements than others. The ability to convey good faith is necessary if the evidence is used in court.
2. Obtaining key information
Getting the right information from a claimant requires good social skills and communication. Creating a trustworthy space where they can share their experience is crucial.
3. Lack of claimant cooperation
Asking someone to walk you through an accident can be hard. People don’t want to recall a traumatizing event and will avoid sharing details with a stranger.
Find the Right Investigator:
The investigator is a key component in getting a solid recorded statement that will have all of the missing information about the case. It’s important to have an investigator who understands their environment, the claimant’s situation, and the insurance policy they are dealing with. A skilled investigator will converse with the claimant without interrogating them and allow them to speak without pressure. Ideally, an investigator will have a list of questions ready and a format for the conversation. However, they should allow for flexibility for the claimant to take the lead and paint their story.
Compliance and Privacy Statutes
The investigator should be knowledgeable of compliance and privacy regulations to prevent future legal challenges. Providing the witness with a copy of their recording and not disrupting the witness’s testimony is a state statute in almost all of the U.S. and if not followed can result in bad faith liability and other penalties to the adjuster.
Obtain Key Information
Details of a claim can get lost and forgotten especially if the investigation takes longer and recorded statements are put off until later. This is why it’s important to take recorded statements as soon as you can to pinpoint key details that will capture the nuances in your claimant’s case. This court evidence sets the stage for the rest of the legal process and can sway in favor or against the insurance company.
Questions to ask your claimant:
• Confirm your Interviewee: It’s important to confirm the witness’s identity and contact information.
• Start with the basics: Ask a simple “Tell me about the accident” and let the person talk while you listen.
• Vehicle Damages: Question their vehicle damages and ensure that the insurance company needs these details to provide damage compensation.
• Physical Injuries: Have them explain the extent of their injuries and be empathetic.
It’s intimidating for the average person when requested to give a recorded statement for an insurance claim. In fact, many claimants are advised not to provide recorded statements unless required by law. Many claimants find themselves required to provide a statement against their will. This is an opportunity to ensure the person will feel heard and understood. This is not the time to overwhelm them with grueling questions. A recorded statement means both parties are being recorded during the conversation. This recording will be scrutinized by the prosecution to determine if the interview is overly aggressive or insistent, resulting in the statement being thrown out as inadmissible.
Additionally, secret recordings should not be used as evidence. A claimant must be aware they are being recorded to conduct an honest case that won’t immediately be denied by the prosecution.
Are You Ready to Listen?
Finding the right investigator, tracking down the information, and getting the claimant to cooperate is easier said (or rather written) than done. If the process of acquiring a recorded statement from your claimant seems daunting is because, in the wrong hands, it can be. You don’t want to be preparing for this while you have 50 other cases that need to be reviewed. This service can save you money and reduce the claims you have to pay out. We have reviewed many challenges you or an investigator can face when obtaining recorded evidence from a claimant.
You don’t have to solve this on your own, contact the Ethos SIU department and find the right investigator to help your claim.