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February 27, 2023

What Does an Examination Under Oath Entail in a Car Insurance Case?

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

Car Accidents Lawyers

The examination under oath or “E.U.O” as it is sometimes known, is a tool available to an insurance company to investigate and evaluate claims that have been made against it. According to an auto accident lawyer, the examination under oath occurs during or is frequently seen in connection with personal injury protection claims, uninsured motorist claims, property damage only claims, economic loss claims, as well as other types of claims -e.g. a homeowner’s insurance claim. The examination under oath and the authority and prerogative to take such a statement, arises from the insurance policy.

An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. In exchange for premiums you paid, the insurance company owes you certain things, but also has a right to insist upon your performance of certain obligations or conditions. The insurance company owes you a defense to a claim made against you, and indemnification, or recompense or payment, for a loss you have sustained. All insurance policies have conditions, or duties after loss. One of these is to sit for an examination under oath. The failure to  comply with a duty under the policy may lead to a denial of coverage under the policy. The law of most jurisdictions will penalize you, harshly, for failing to comply.

Being penalized might mean different things to different people. Everyone would most likely agree that losing one case, entirely, for the sole reason that the person claiming insurance benefits did not appear for their examination under oath. There are those unfortunate souls out there who have maintained that compliance with an EUO obligation was unnecessary because the insurance policy has already been breached by the insurance company, and therefore attendance was not required. Those poor should lost their otherwise meritorious case, in whole, even though “they know how to litigate a breach of contract case”. The insurance company will employ counsel -if they do not utilize the in-house counsel model-to ask you a series of questions about the accident or the loss.

The obligation to participate in an examination under oath is broader than simply appearing at a designated place and answering questions. You might also have to produce documents, such as cell phone records, or automobile maintenance records or ridesharing records. You may even be asked to produce bank or tax records. Produce them- unless your claim does not matter to you. One important thing to keep in mind about an examination under oath is that typically an insurance company is not going to waste significant resources investigating a claim that it later intends to honor. The examination under oath is a tool the insurance company uses to gather information that it frequently will later use to deny your claim. Obviously, if your insurance company has asked you to sit for an examination under oath, it’s imperative that you promptly consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney of your choosing.

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