At what point do I need a lawyer, if an auto insurance claim that has been filed is being investigated?

My car got stolen in the beginning of this month. After filling out an affidavit, the claim is going to a Special Investigations Unit and now they want to question my husband and I separately and record it. We have been completely honest with them, yet they continue to question and investigate the claim. Should we start looking to obtain an auto accident attorney? We’re in Washington, OR.

Asked on October 22, 2011 under Insurance Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should get an attorney now, for two reasons:

1) It appears that the insurer has doubts about your claim. An attorney will help you negotiate with them and, if necessary, can sue them under the policy for the coverage you paid for and deserve. A lawyer will increase you odds of being paid.

2) Whether you committed a crime or not, it seems that the insurer may think that you have. It's pretty easy for innocent answers to trip you up, especially if you and your husband agree to be questioned separately and your answers simply don't quite match (which can happen: you don't remember things quite the same way, you describe the same event differently, etc.). A lawyer can advise you of your rights, sit in on any questions, and help you protect your interests. Remember: while the insurer is not the police, anything you say to them could be shared with the police; you want to make sure you  treat this as a "pre-criminal" investigation.


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