Francisco J. Mora
Is There a Difference Between a Recorded Statement, an Examination Under Oath, and a Deposition?
When you file an insurance claim, you will likely at some point be asked to answer questions from the insurance company. Those questions can take place under several different settings and be subject to different rules. Below is a discussion of the various forms of statements that can be requested, and the facts you need to know about each.
After an accident, most insurance companies will want to take a recorded statement from the parties involved. A recorded statement is an unsworn statement that is recorded by the insurance adjuster. Even though it is unsworn, insurance companies still love to use a recorded statement against you. However, it is important to know that depending on which insurance company is asking for the statement, you may, or may not have to comply.
If the insurance company asking you to give a recorded statement is not your own insurance company, you do not need to comply with their request. In fact, we recommend against it. As it is not your insurance company, you have no obligation to provide them with a recorded statement.
If, however, your own insurance company calls you and asks you for a recorded statement, YOU HAVE TO COMPLY! The reason for this is that you are contractually obligated to cooperate with your own insurance company. Your insurance policy also likely contains a specific provision requiring you to give a recorded statement when asked. If you fail to comply, your insurance company will likely deny your claim. With that said, we recommend that you consult with an attorney before giving any adjuster a statement.
Examination Under Oath
An examination under oath is a provision that exists in all insurance policies providing first-party insurance, meaning insurance that will cover you for your property damage or injuries. Examples include your homeowner’s insurance policy, your PIP coverage, or your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Much like a recorded statement, you only have an obligation to give an examination under oath if you are requested to do so by your own insurance company. If you fail to comply, your claim could be denied.
An examination under oath is a tool that insurance companies use to investigate insurance claims. The insurance company may ask for a examination under oath if there are questions of coverage, or if they suspect fraud. An examination under oath differs from a recorded statement as it is testimony provided under oath without the need for a lawsuit. That means you will be sworn in prior to testifying, and your testimony can be used against in any court proceeding. However, an examination under oath is not subject to the Rules of Civil Procedure. This means that the adjuster or attorney asking you questions is not limited in what they can ask, and since the examination is contractual, you technically have no right to refuse to answer any questions, as doing so could result in your loss of coverage (subject, of course, to a court’s determination that the question was appropriate and relevant to your claim). As with a recorded statement, we always recommend that you have an attorney present with you.
A deposition is much like an examination under oath, except it can only take place during a lawsuit and is subject to the Rules of Civil Procedure. A deposition is part of what is known as the “discovery” phase of a lawsuit. The discovery phase is the early part of a lawsuit where the parties are able to discover and learn all of the facts about the case and document everything the other side might know.
The deposition is a question and answer session in which the opposing attorney will ask you questions about yourself and your claim. A deposition is your sworn answers to these questions. The sworn testimony you provide will be treated the same as if you testified live in court in front of a jury.
Let SouthShore Injury Attorneys Fight for You
As you can see, there are important differences to each type of statement. At SouthShore Injury Attorneys, we know that a well-prepared client can make all the difference in the success of a claim or lawsuit. We represent personal injury victims in the SouthShore and Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida. Before you speak to an insurance adjuster, it is important that you consult with an attorney to best protect your rights.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to an Apollo Beach personal injury attorney now.