Brian White | March 26, 2022 | Personal Injury
An examination under oath (EUO) is similar to a deposition. However, your insurance company requests the EUO to gather more information about a claim. Your testimony at an examination under oath is sworn testimony. Therefore, you are under penalty of perjury to answer questions truthfully.
What Is an Examination Under Oath?
Most insurance policies contain a clause that requires the insured to submit to an examination under oath regarding a claim. In an EUO, the insurance company’s attorney asks questions of the insured. A court reporter records the questions and responses. In some cases, an EUO may be videotaped.
The purpose of the EUO is to gather details about the insurance claim. Insurance companies use examinations under oath to uncover fraud, obtain evidence to use in a future lawsuit, or assess the validity of a claim. If you refuse to appear and answer questions at an EUO, the insurance company may deny your claim and cancel your insurance coverage.
You Have the Right to Legal Counsel at an Examination Under Oath
You have the right to legal counsel for an examination under oath. However, your lawyer may not participate in the questioning at an EUO or object to a line of questions.
It is important to understand that a claims adjuster or insurance agent does not conduct the examination. Instead, an experienced, skilled insurance defense lawyer conducts the examination.
Often, the insurance company is “fishing” for personal and sensitive information it can use to intimidate or overwhelm a person who does not have an attorney. The purpose is to avoid paying a valid insurance claim.
An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer will prepare you for an EUO by spending time discussing the types of questions the insurance company’s attorney may ask.
Other ways that a personal injury attorney can help you prepare for an examination under oath include:
- Explaining your legal rights
- Describing the process for conducting an EUO
- Assisting you in gathering documents requested by the insurance company to ensure the documents are in order
- Appearing at the EUO to ensure you are not harassed, coerced, or mistreated
After the EUO concludes, your lawyer will discuss the details of the examination. Your lawyer should explain how the insurance company might use the information disclosed during the examination to deny or undervalue your insurance claim.
What Do You Need to Know About an EUO in Texas?
Most people are unfamiliar with an examination under oath.
Some things you should know about EUOs include:
- The EUO should be scheduled at a reasonable time and place for the insured.
- You may be required to submit to multiple EUOs if your insurance policy allows more than one examination.
- You may insist that you sign the transcribed examination. However, you are not required to sign the EUO if the transcribed record is incorrect or incomplete.
- The provision for an EUO may be waived if the insurance company denies the claim before requesting an examination under oath.
- The EUO may also be waived if the insurance company breaches the insurance contract or fails to meet statutory deadlines.
The rules and case law governing examinations under oath can be confusing and complex. If you receive a notice of examination under oath, it is wise to seek legal advice immediately. You do not want to risk making a mistake that could result in a denial of your insurance claim.
Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chance of Winning a Personal Injury Claim
Your insurance provider may not request an EUO when you file an insurance claim. However, you may not know for sure until months after your injury or accident. Therefore, it is always best to take steps to strengthen your case from the onset.
Things you should do after a personal injury or accident include:
Document the Accident Scene
If possible, make a video of the accident scene and take photographs. Also, ask bystanders and eyewitnesses for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be a crucial piece of evidence used to prove fault for an accident.
Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries
You need medical evidence that links your injuries to the accident or incident. Therefore, prompt medical treatment for injuries is crucial in a personal injury case. The sooner you receive medical care, the more difficult it is for the insurance company to claim that the accident did not cause your injuries.
Furthermore, delays in medical care could give the insurance provider a reason to argue a failure to mitigate damages.
Report the Injury or Accident to Your Insurance Provider
Promptly report all accidents and injuries to your insurance provider. Generally, you must provide enough details for the insurance company to open a claims investigation. However, avoid providing written and recorded statements, signing medical release authorizations, or providing proof of loss until you speak with a personal injury lawyer.
Do Not Delay in Filing Claims or Seeking Legal Advice
You may have a short deadline to file claims for injuries and accidents. As a result, you could lose your right to demand compensation for an insurance claim by delaying filing a claim or seeking legal advice.
Most Houston personal injury attorneys provide free consultations, so it costs nothing to obtain legal advice about an insurance claim.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
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