There are three questions that are asked every time a slip and fall occurs. These three questions, if not answered properly, can result in your claim having almost no chance of success at achieving a settlement. Under Indiana law, people who have given a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster have the right to deem possession of the recorded statement. I have reviewed countless recorded statements where the three questions have been answered inaccurately. This results in me telling the injured person that the insurance company is not going to give them a settlement of a substantial nature.
Settlements are only paid by insurance companies when they are fearful that not paying now might result in paying more later on. An insurance company will pay a settlement of a substantial nature only when it is in their best interest to do so. If you give them a recorded statement that is filled with inaccuracies, the insurance company will not give you a settlement.
The most common question that an insurance adjuster will ask you during a recorded statement after a slip and fall incident is where you were looking before you fell. This might seem like a harmless question but you have to understand that in a slip and fall occurrence, the insurance company would be looking for things to use against you later at a deposition or a jury trial.
What is the Best Answer When an Adjuster Asks You Where You Were Looking When You Fell?
Regardless of your answer, the insurance company can use it against you later. If you were injured by a slip and fall on a sidewalk outside of a grocery store, the insurance company asks you where you were looking before you fell, and you say that you were looking down at your feet, then why did not you see the patch of ice that you slipped upon? It does not benefit your case because under Indiana law, if the danger is open and obvious, then there is a complete defense to the recovery of slip and fall. If you say that you were looking down and saw the patch of ice before you fell on it, the insurance company adjuster will ask why you did not avoid it. Under Indiana law, if the person’s knowledge of the danger equals the company’s knowledge of danger, then the person cannot recover from the slip and fall.
The knowledge of danger needs to be superior for the landowner than the person who is injured, so the innocuous question of where you were looking before you fell is actually incredibly damning. If you say that you were looking down, the next question will be why you stepped upon the ice, if you were looking down. If you answer that you were looking straight ahead, then the follow-up question will be why you were not looking where you were stepping. That shows a lack of care and a lack of reasonableness. The proper answer to the question of where you were looking prior to your fall is everywhere. If you are adamant and strong, there is not much that an insurance company adjuster can do to impeach that later.
The second common question from insurance adjusters is whether you saw what caused your fall. Indiana law requires that a person who slips and falls must know what they slipped upon. The next question will be whether you saw what caused your fall before you fell. If you say yes, the insurance company adjuster will have the opportunity to ask why you stepped on it. A person who incurs the risk of stepping on ice is less likely to recover in front of a jury than a person who did not know that the ice was there. If you say that you did not see what caused your fall, the follow-up question can be used to imply that you were not being careful. Most people see what caused their fall simultaneously to the fall occurring. By the time they notice, it is too late.
The third question insurance company adjusters love to ask during a recorded statement is whether you know what caused your fall. Indiana law requires that an injured person in a slip and fall accident know what caused their fall. It does not require that you know what caused your fall prior to your fall. An injured person can determine what caused their fall after they have fallen. A follow-up question will often be how you knew what the danger was if you did not see it. Luckily, the Indiana law does not require your knowledge of what caused your fall to be precise. If you slip on a pool of liquid, Indiana law does not require that you identify that liquid.
When it comes to the idea of giving a recorded statement to an insurance company after a slip and fall, it is simply not advisable. Adjusters are looking for contradictions. They will be able to use this recorded statement, which they will transcribe in writing, against you later.
For more information on the Benefits Of Giving A Recorded Statement, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (260) 909-8363 today.