Thursday, December 13, 2012

Questions You'll Be Asked During An Insurance Company Recorded Statement

If you've been in an Ohio car or motorcycle accident, you'll soon meet up with an adjuster who wants to take a "recorded statement" from you. We typically advise our clients (or potential clients who call) not to give a recorded statement to the at fault party's insurance company (as we have discussed here), but for those of you who are contemplating giving one to the adjuster, the following guide may help you prepare for what you may be asked:


NOTE: This was a recorded statement taken by our client’s own insurance company seeking information. The adjuster did not ask the client for a social security number because the client’s insurance company already had it on file.

These interviews are basically “scripted” and the questions are typical ones you’d expect to see in any initial “interview.” How do we know they’re scripted? In this case, for unknown reasons, the insurance company made the client go through two recorded interviews (both were given before the client hired us). Both interviews were essentially identical. The client’s answers have been deleted for obvious reasons.

1. Could you please state your full name?

2. Do you understand that this interview is being recorded?

3. Is it being recorded with your permission?

4. If I need to share the information with another adjuster, may I do so?

5. What is your address and telephone number?

6. What is your date of birth?

7. What is the year, make and model of the vehicle you were driving?

8. Are you the registered owner of that vehicle?

9. Were you using the vehicle for any type of business or government use?

10. Were there any minors or passengers in the vehicle with you?

11. What was the date of your accident?

12. Around what time?

13. How many vehicles were involved?

14. What street did this happen on?

15. Was the weather a factor in the accident?

16. Was the traffic light, moderate or heavy?

17. What happened?

18. What type of damage was done to your vehicle?

19. Do you know what type of damage was done to the other vehicles?

20. Was there any type of evasive action that was able to be taken to avoid the accident?

21. Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

22. Were you using a cell phone or any other electronic devices?

23. Was anything obstructing your vision?

24. Do you know how fast the other party was going?

25. Do you know what the speed limit is on that road?

26. Was your vehicle towed?

27. Were you wearing your seatbelt?

28. Did your airbag deploy?

29. Were the police called to the scene?

30. Was there a report taken?

31. Do you have the report number?

32. Was a ticket or citation issued?

33. Were the vehicles moved before the police arrived?

34. Did the police take statements from the drivers?

35. Were there any witnesses that saw the accident?

36. Do you have the witnesses’ contact information?

37. Was there property damage to street signs, poles or anything else?

38. Were you injured in the accident?

39. What type of injuries did you sustain?

40. At the moment of the impact, were you thrown forward, backward or sideways?

41. Did any part of your body make contact with the vehicle?

42. Was there any ringing in your ears or popping in your jaw?

43. Did you have any deep cuts or lacerations?

44. Was there any emergency treatment performed at the scene?

45. Were you taken to the hospital?

46. What hospital did you go to?

47. Were you transported by ambulance?

48. What treatment have you received since the accident?

49. Do you know the name of your doctor?

50. What type of treatment plan are you currently on?

51. Are you taking any medication?

52. If you can rate the pain that you feel now, 10 being the worst, 1 being the least, how would you rate your pain?

53. Did you have any prior injuries that could have resurfaced because of the accident?

54. Do you know the total amount of your medical bills to date?

55. How much time did you miss from work?

56. Where do you work?

57. What is your position there?

58. Are there any physical requirements for your position?

59. What is the name of your immediate supervisor?

60. Do you know a phone number for your supervisor?

61. Are you paid hourly or salary?

62. How many hours do you work per week?

63. What is your salary?

64. Do you make any type commissions or bonuses?

65. How long have you worked there?

66. What type of medical benefits do you receive?

67. Do you know if any of the other parties in the other vehicle were injured?

68. Is there anything in reference to the accident that you would like to add that we have not discussed that we should know about?

69. Have you understood all these questions?

70. Is this recording true and correct to the best of your knowledge?

71. Has this recording been made with your knowledge and consent?

72. Would you state your name again please?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Insurance Company Gets Hacked--Another Good Reason Not To Give Your Social Security Number To The Adjuster/Insurance Company

"We need your client's Social Security number to process the claim." This is a standard request from an adjuster when we notify the responsible party's auto insurance company that we will be handling the claim on behalf of our client.

Our standard response is to refuse for two reasons. First, divulging our auto accident client's SS No allows the at fault party's insurance company access to a number of databases that allow them to snoop around to see if the client had an injury or homeowners' claim 13 years ago, or had a workers compensation claim, for example. It even allows access to our client's credit history and credit scores. What's more, they don't share the results of their fishing expedition, which is a good reason to refuse to give them such personal information.

Second, I have always taken the position that divulging the client's SS No created privacy and information/identity theft concerns due to computer hacking and other cyber crimes. The usual responses to this are either an incredulous "gimme a break,"  "you're just being difficult," or "our computer systems are safe."

And now this news: Nationwide just got hacked by some computer "propeller heads" and exposed over 1 million people to access to personal information and Social Security numbers. Who knows the implications of this major security breach, but it proves our point that identity theft is a real concern, and not one that should be dismissed.

Insurance companies may EVENTUALLY need an Ohio auto accident victim's SS No in order to comply with new Medicare regulations requiring insurers or us to verify that the client is or was not on Medicare or eligible for Medicare at the time of the crash (this is because Medicare has a right or reimbursement for any auto accident bills Medicare pays). But this problem is easily solved by producing our clients' SS No's AFTER the case or claim settles.