If an insurance company disputes your claim, you may be asked to participate in an Examination Under Oath (EUO). The EUO is a formal process used by insurance companies to gather more information about a claim, prevent fraud, or allow the insured party to prove their losses if there is missing or destroyed evidence. There are several details you need to know about an EUO, as it can used to help or harm your case.
During an EUO, you will be sworn under oath and may spend several hours answering questions posed by the insurance company’s attorney. These may include any questions the insurance company considers relevant to your claim. Preparing for and attending an EUO is important, which is why we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as you believe an EUO will take place.
What Is an Examination Under Oath (EUO)?
The insurance company has the right to request an EUO before the claim is processed, per N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11 § 65-3.5. The insurance policy should detail any restrictions and standards for the EUO.
Reasons Why Insurance Companies Require EUOs
There are several reasons why insurance companies request EUOs, and the reason may not be clear to you when you receive the EUO summons. Sometimes the EUO is used as part of a claim investigation to prevent fraud, to find misrepresentations, or to use as evidence in a future lawsuit.
EUOs are costly for insurance companies. So, you should be aware that it is typically not a casual step taken by an insurance company when paying an insurance claim.
On the other hand, some insurers may request an EUO to unfairly delay or challenge your case. EUOs can be used as a tool of intimidation, as they can involve several hours of questioning – nd the rationale for that questioning may not initially appear relevant to the claim.
EUOs: What You Should Know About the Proceedings
The most important advice we can give about EUOs is to talk to a lawyer’s office if you’re summoned to attend one. A Floral Park NY Personal Injury attorney can help prepare you and give you the confidence you need to present your case during an EUO. While your lawyer will most likely not be present by your side during the EUO, they can prepare you for the meeting by explaining you how the proceeding works, the questions you will be most likely asked, the best answer you can give, depending on your case’s details, and so on. We will offer more details on this issue in this guide later.
Here are a few more things you should know about EUOs:
- If you do not go to the EUO, the insurer can deny your claim.
- Although your claim can be denied if you do not attend the EUO, some valid reasons can justify a failure to attend. These include problems with how notice was given, the timing of the appointment, and not being allowed to have an attorney present.
- If you decline to respond to the insurer’s questions, the insurance company can decline coverage.
- Your attorney cannot participate in the EUO. It’s not like in a deposition, where your attorney could object to improper or irrelevant questions or ask questions themselves. The attorney’s role lies in preparation for questioning and strategizing afterwards.
- The people who may be present at your EUO include you (the insured), your attorney and/or public adjuster, and a notary.
- The Examination Under Oath should be arranged at a place and time that is reasonably convenient to you.
If you believe an EUO was unfairly requested, speak to a lawyer’s team to learn more about your rights and the required procedures involved with EUOs.
Do Insurance Companies Usually Pay Out After An EUO?
Whether insurance companies usually pay out after an Examination Under Oath (EUO) depends on the individual circumstances of the case. If the insurance company concludes that there was fraudulent activity involved, they are likely to deny the claim. On the other hand, if your testimony during the EUO is consistent and aligns with the facts, the EUO should not negatively impact your claim’s outcome.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Team and How They Can Help
The best time to connect with a personal injury lawyer is as soon as you receive a written request to attend an Examination Under Oath. However, you can also connect with a lawyer after a car accident. A lawyer’s help can be valuable for many other aspects of your case, including with an EUO.
A car accident attorney will be able to help you prepare for your EUO and take steps to make your insurance claim successful. Some of the things your personal attorney can help with regarding the EUO include:
- Explaining the process, what it means to testify under oath, and possible consequences of the EUO
- Gathering the documents requested by the insurance company and making sure they are in order
- Preparing for the questions you may be asked
- Being at your side during the EUO and debriefing afterwards
- Advise you if the insurance company is using the EUO as a means of pressuring you to drop your claim
Other Steps You Should Take to Strengthen Your Car Insurance Claim
Whether you receive a request for an Examination Under Oath or not, there are several steps you should take to prepare a solid foundation for your case:
See a Doctor and Take Your Doctor’s Advice
In New York, you have limited time to get medical documentation proving that you sustained injuries in a car accident. A lawyer can tell you more about this timeline. In short, you should get medical care for your injuries as soon as you can.
After you get initial care, continue with recommended treatments. Whether your doctor tells you to take certain medications, attend follow-up appointments, or go to physical therapy, you should follow through. Doing so is important for your health and for your case’s evidence.
Act Promptly for Your Case
Other deadlines are important to keep in mind when you’re filing a car accident claim. The state limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit if you are able to do so.
Getting started as early as possible is also important for other reasons, including:
- Capturing time-sensitive evidence. Some forms of evidence may disappear or become less effective soon after the accident, such as eyewitness statements.
- Giving time to build a strong case. The more time you give to your legal team, the better prepared you will be for your claim or lawsuit.
Get a Free Case Review
Some injury law firms give free case reviews after a car accident. This can be an invaluable step to take for your case. A lawyer’s team can tell you important things to know as you move forward with a car accident claim, including:
- What you should know about Examination Under Oath
- What forms of compensation you could seek
- If you could seek damages from a liable driver or another party
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for a Free, No-Risk Consultation
Insurance companies sometimes show good faith in investigating and paying a claim. Sometimes, however, an EUO is used as a tool to deny claims, make the process more difficult, and/or document testimony that can be used to damage your case if you file a lawsuit. If your insurance company requested that you do an EUO, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP right away for a free consultation: (516) 358-6900.
We will be a strong advocate on your side as you pursue your claim and go through the EUO process. We know how to deal with insurance companies and will help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. We serve the communities of Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, and New York.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900