Understanding Examinations Under Oath

After you filed a claim with your insurance provider, you may be surprised with a request for an examination under oath. Sometimes insurance companies require sworn testimony before they are willing to make a payment on your claim, and it is with the intent to deny your claim.

If you are required to give legally binding statements, you should expect a team of experienced defense lawyers to cross-examine your assertions. Skilled in legal interrogation and representing large insurance companies, their expertise is to scrutinize your every word. Also present is a court reporter, documenting every word and preserving any errors in your account that could be used against you. Even if you know your claim is reasonable and valid, it is always sound advice to seek legal representation when required to give sworn testimony.

Knowing the Process

Being cross-examined under oath is the same process as any deposition in a court case, except you are not guaranteed legal representation. Frequently used as an intimidation tactic, this formal proceeding is designed to be exhausting and overwhelming for the insured. Requiring an examination under oath is one of the most powerful tools insurance companies have to deny your claim, and they use this to great effect all the time. It can also be used to jump start an investigation into fraud, and the Fifth Amendment is not applicable during the questioning. Furthermore, an attorney cannot represent you during the actual process, but they can provide you with advice beforehand. If you retain legal counsel, your attorney will be present with you in the room.

An insurer must provide the demand for an examination under oath in writing. The written notice must include your name, the time and place of the examination (under reasonable conditions), a list of required documentation, and the name of the representative conducting the examination. It is important to understand that more than one examination can be required, and the process can prove to be quite lengthy. The demand can include the policyholder, their attorney, a third-party adjuster, all representatives for the insurance company, and a court notary or reporter. If any part of the formal notice is defective, the insured may have the right to refuse.

Solicited as an information-gathering tool, this action allows insurers to gather as much information as they can to determine their financial obligation within the policy. The knowledge they obtain helps to protect themselves from fraud, and to better adjust the amount of damage assessed in the first-party property claim. Ideally intended for transparency, bad actors can easily take advantage of the situation.

The idea is to call upon policyholders to testify under oath in an attempt to poke holes in their claim, and ultimately, escape financial responsibility. Often times, your honesty is simply not enough to win in this case, and the chances are your claim will be denied. The truth is irrelevant to these large companies when it comes to their intent to portray you poorly and protect their profits.

However, with the right attorney, an examination under oath can actually be beneficial to you as it provides an opportunity to detail your claim at great length and on record. Choosing the right law firm early in this process is critical to your chances for success.

Our team of professionals have been defending policyholders across the nation for over 30 years, and we are familiar with the strategies insurance providers use to misconstrue truthful statements. Located in the Houston area, we patiently review every detail of the case and guide you every step of the way. We believe in the truth, and refuse to allow corporations to push legitimate claims aside. Most policies provide insurers with the right to demand a sworn affidavit before they approve a payment, and you have the right to protect yourself from their attempts to swindle you out of a claim. Don’t accept the risks involved by defending yourself against professional investigators, especially when you are owed fair compensation.

If you are compelled to give sworn testimony to your insurance provider, and have been called upon for an examination under oath, you need legal counsel. Williams Hart has the experience needed to properly defend your claims, and can provide you with invaluable insight into the process. Committed to holding insurance providers accountable, with our help, you will be much more prepared for any cross-examination the defense has up their sleeve. We will work with you to cover every potential outcome, and to prevent the obstruction of facts on your behalf.

Dedicated to upholding justice, we won’t stop until every opportunity has been exhausted to get what you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (713) 352-0031, chat with us live on our website, or send us an email. You don’t have to face this inquisition alone.

Quick Contact