When an individual is arrested, they are told that anything they say can and will be used against them. While you aren't given these instructions when initiating a wrongful-death case, understand that the same rules apply. One of the main goals of insurance companies is to settle claims for as little as possible. If you say the wrong thing, not only do you help them achieve this goal, but you could totally derail your case. Don't let your own words work against you.
A wrongful-death case is all about the facts, not estimates. Estimating information opens the door for an absolution of guilt on the part of the negligent party. Consider a wrongful-death case involving a motor-vehicle accident, for instance. The party filing the claim was also in the vehicle at the time of the collision, and the insurance company wants to know how fast the driver was traveling. Answering this question gives the insurance company an opportunity to pick apart the case.
Even if the estimated speed provided to the representative was within the legal limit, if there was inclement weather, road construction, or even heavy traffic, the insurance company will use this information to their advantage. They will argue that while the driver may have been following the speed limit, given the driving conditions they should have been driving slower to avoid an accident. The worst of it is that the speed provided might not even be accurate.
Answering Misleading Questions
Never answer misleading questions. Statements that fall within this category are those that join two different theories into a single question. To put this into perspective, consider the previous example of a vehicle accident. Say the deceased suffered a severe neck injury. An example of a misleading question would be, "You cared about your loved one deeply and probably did everything you could to help them, such as trying to move them to safety?"
The average person is going to answer yes because they're fixated on the first part of the question. However, with a neck injury, rule number one is to never move the person, as this can exacerbate the situation and lead to death. Even if the person didn't actually move their loved one, the insurance company may use the person's response to argue a theory that had the person not been moved, maybe their injuries could have been treated and wouldn't have led to a fatality.
Make sure your words aren't hurting your case. Always ask for guidance from an attorney, such as one from Sarkisian, Sarkisian & Associates PC, before providing any statements.