Obtain Statements

How to obtain Statements, from the insured, the claimant and the witnesses.

Statement: The statement is not a deposition; however, it does carry the formality, oath, or detail of a deposition. Insured: The adjuster should begin the investigation with a detailed statement from the insured. It is preferable to record the statement. More detail and clarity can be received in a recorded statement than in a written statement. The recorded statement is easier to take, because writing notes is unnecessary and continuous eye contact can be maintained with the interviewee. From the insured, the investigator should determine the elements of the accident that brought about the claim. Claimant: The investigator should also meet with the claimant to obtain his or her side of the story as to how the accident occurred. If the claimant is represented by counsel, the investigator should communicate only with the attorney. The investigator must make the appointment with the attorney to take the claimant’s statement, and the attorney should be present for the interview. A recorded statement from the claimant is essential.

The investigator should have the claimant answer the same questions asked of the insured. During the interview, the investigator must not let the attorney answer the questions. Witness: The investigator must also interview each witness, and if they are willing, obtain recorded statements from them. If witnesses are unknown or unidentified, the investigator should visit the scene of the accident and interview people who may have been witnesses. Visit the Scene: Depending on the severity of the incident the investigator should take photograpghs of the scene of the accident showing what, and where the accident occurred. The photographs should also show all damage, and (if applicable) skid marks on a road surface.

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