Examination Under Oath: Tips for Success

The process for an examination under oath or any other kind of legal proceeding can be overwhelming. You want to make sure you fully understand your situation and the process. First, you should understand what an examination under oath is. Then you should understand the role you play in an examination under oath. This local business wants you to know these tips about EUOs, so you are best prepared! This article will serve as a list of tips for success regarding your examination under oath!

Ensuring a Successful Examination Under Oath

So, what is an examination under oath? An examination under oath is a contractually obligated legal proceeding in which a representative of an insurance provider questions an insured. The purpose of the analysis is to look further into the claims of the insured and shed light on both the validity and extent of the claim.

In an examination under oath, a lawyer hired by the insurance company will send you a request for documents, request you to come to their office, and ask you questions in the presence of a court reporter. Unless you are somewhat familiar with legal proceedings, the complex legal terms used and the legal process can be confusing.

Tips for An Examination Under Oath

It’s essential to know what you need to prepare for and what situation you are walking into when involved in an examination under oath. This process can be intimidating, but this article will give you tips to help you! Remember that these tips are not intended to be legal advice, as every situation is different.

Clear Communication is Key

Use clear, concise, and effective communication with the insurance company representative. Sometimes the questions you are asked and the information you give may seem too personal, but it’s crucial that you politely cooperate with reasonable requests. Make sure that you stay in active communication with the insurance company.

Set a Convenient Date

You have the right to a date that is convenient for you. When you receive a request for an examination under oath that includes a date for the exam, you can ask for a different date provided that you have an appropriate reason. Find a day and time that work for both you and the insurance company’s lawyer. It may be best first to retain an attorney to walk you through the specifics of your claim and communicate on your behalf.

Properly Prepare for your Examination Under Oath

Give yourself time to prepare. You should also keep in mind to schedule a date that allows you sufficient time to gather and review the documents required by the insurance company. Before you go to an examination, it’s essential that you fully understand the issues in the claim and have reviewed all documents. Some people set aside a month at minimum to prepare for a EUO. Sometimes there are hundreds or thousands of pages of documentation to discuss before the exam. You also need time to speak with and retain an attorney.

During your examination under oath, you’ll be asked questions about when you first found out about the loss, who you contacted, what your financial condition was, the value of the items you claim are lost or destroyed, and any support that you have for these items. It’s essential to be familiar with the documents you provide to the insurance company. You can learn more about how to prepare for an examination under oath here.

Gather Important Documents for Insurance Company

The insurance company’s attorney will send you a request for documents. This list can be extensive and can include cell phone bills, income tax returns, and bank statements. You are required to cooperate with their investigation. If you don’t, they can deny your claim. A personal injury lawyer can help with the process of gathering the requested documents and understanding the types of documents requested.

Here’s a list of records often requested in a EUO:

  • Bank Records
  • Medical Records
  • Tax Returns
  • Construction Documentation
  • Past Insurance Policies
  • Documents from Past Insurance Claims
  • Social Media Records
  • Telephone Records

Tell the insurance company if you do not have certain documents requested. A personal injury attorney can help you communicate with the insurance company and help you obtain the appropriate documentation to the best of their ability.

The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment right does not apply to EUOs. Because an examination under oath is based on a contractual obligation, courts have ruled that the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply. They’ve also ruled that the policyholder must respond to questions that may implicate the insured in criminal activity. If they refuse to answer questions, the insurance claim may be denied.

Avoid Misrepresentation

Do not misrepresent anything to the insurance company. Your insurance policy contains a provision that allows the insurance company to void coverage when a policyholder lies, conceals information, and makes misrepresentations. This can even include mistelling an account due to recalling things differently than how they happened. You must respond with the appropriate information with as much context and information as possible. Consult with an attorney if you feel uncertain about the process.

Maintain a Professional Demeanor

Be polite and calm. It can be hard at times to be calm and polite when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a situation. Remember that the insurance company representative or lawyer is doing their job. They aren’t being personal.

Think Through Everything You Say

Tell the truth. It may be pretty straightforward, but especially in an examination under oath, you should always be direct and honest with the information you give. During the legal proceeding, you’re sworn under oath and answer questions posed by the insurance company’s attorney. You swear in the court of law to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Don’t guess. If you aren’t sure you can recall or know something, don’t assume. It could be interpreted as lying by the insurance company. If you are unsure of anything, it’s best to have already discussed it with your personal injury lawyer.

The biggest tip of all would be that you should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the legal process of an examination under oath. This professional will be your best asset at obtaining information and details to understand your case best. They’ll be able to walk you through the process from start to finish.

Why An Examination Under Oath is Necessary

You may be wondering why an insurance company wants to investigate by using an examination under oath. Here are some common issues insurance companies often examine:

  • The insurance company believes there is a policy exclusion that applies.
  • The insurance company believes the policy does not cover the claim.
  • The policyholder has hired a contractor, adjuster, or other experts who have a terrible history with the insurance company or has a history of red flags.
  • The policyholder has not answered the insurance company’s request for information about the claim. The policyholder is seeking significantly more money than thwart the insurance company believes is owed.
  • The policyholder committed fraud.
  • The policyholder committed a crime related to the insurance policy.
  • The policyholder made misrepresentations in the policy application.
  • The policyholder misrepresented the cause of the damage.

A policyholder needs to consult with an experienced insurance attorney to ensure you are adequately prepared for the examination. This is especially crucial if you feel the issues in your claim are complicated or if you feel mistreated by the insurance company. Whatever the reason for an examination under oath, ensure that you meet with an attorney and are best prepared as possible!

Are you looking to learn more? Find valuable deposition tips and training here!