What is an EUO (Examination Under Oath)?
Did you receive a letter from your insurance company requesting an Examination Under Oath? In the insurance industry, these are known as EUO’s. So, you’re probably wondering what is an EUO and do you have to attend. At Wolfson & Leon, our Miami car accident lawyers are very familiar with EUO’s as well as why insurance companies use them to delay, deny and not pay claims.
If you were injured in a car accident, then there is a very good chance you will be requested by your own insurance company to attend an EUO. While you will need to attend, you would be best served by at least consulting with the Miami car accident attorney before your examination under oath.
If you have any questions following a car accident or if you received an EUO letter, then feel free to give us a call at (305) 285-1115 and let us answer your questions.Examination Under Oath (EUO)
Generally speaking, automobile insurance policies describe the rights and obligations of both the insurance company and the insured person. An insurance policy is a contract between the insured and the insurance carrier. Most, if not all, insurance policies contain provisions requiring an insured person to cooperate in the investigation of any claim. It is within this duty to cooperate where an insurance company has the right to request an examination under oath.
Over the years many insurance companies sought to use these examinations under oath to delay payment or deny payment of otherwise valid claims. Often insurance companies will seek examinations under oath when they are presented with claims that should be paid. The insurance companies argue that there is rampant fraud and these examinations under oath are an important tool in their fight against fraud and excessive billing practices.
Insurance companies also play the odds when it comes to examinations under oath. Although it would never be admitted, the insurance companies understand that not everyone who is requested to provide an examination under oath will actually attend. When someone fails to appear for an EUO, that gives the insurance company a reason to deny the claim for failure to cooperate. In the long run, that saves the insurance company money.
Examinations under oath are primarily used in PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and property losses. The insurance companies will set a time and place for the EUO to take place and may also request the claimant to bring certain documents. If the claimant fails to bring the requested documents than the insurance company can delay payment until they are provided with the documents requested.Scope of the EUO – Examination Under Oath
If you received a notice for an examination under oath, you might wonder what can they ask you in this process. First, when you appear at the designated time and place you will be placed under oath. Second, a court reporter will take the testimony consisting of the questions and answers. Third, the questions are supposed to be relevant to your claim. However, this is where some insurance companies take liberties.
The first area of inquiry in a typical examination under oath (EUO) is to determine if the claimant qualifies for coverage. This means determining if there are any other insurance policies that might be responsible for the loss; if there were any material misrepresentations when the policy was obtained; or if there are any exclusions that might apply under the facts of the loss. The questions will likely involve:
- Places you lived
- Persons you live with
- Your occupation
- Your claim history
- Other accidents or claims
- Confirming all the information that you provided when you purchased the policy of insurance
The second area of inquiry in an EUO will involve a determination of whether the accident or loss is covered under the policy. These questions will involve the specific facts of your accident.
Once it is determined that the loss is covered, then the questions will be directed to your specific losses such as medical bills, lost wages and prior medical history. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to avoid making a payment. One way is to blame your current pain on a pre-existing condition or prior accident. Another way is to blame a subsequent accident. No matter how nice the questioner might act you need to understand that insurance companies are always looking for ways to delay, deny, and not pay your claim.Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Defending EUO’S (Examinations Under Oath)
At Wolfson & Leon, our Miami car accident lawyers counsel and represent our clients in EUO’s. We prepare our clients as to what they can expect at the examination under oath so that they are not surprised or afraid. We always advise her clients to tell the truth but only asked the question that is asked of them. There is no need to volunteer information that is not specifically requested. The insurance company has a job to do so we advise our clients to be polite, respectful and truthful so that they can get through the process as quickly as possible.
The personal injury lawyer’s role at an examination under oath is quite limited but still important. In reality, the presence of your attorney either in person or over the phone will usually keep the questioner at the examination under oath from being tempted to go over the line. Again, the goal is to get through the EUO process as quickly and painlessly as possible and that includes not giving the insurance company a reason to deny your claim, delay your claim or not pay your claim.
The Miami car accident lawyers at Wolfson & Leon are available and ready to provide full legal representation in any personal injury matter for the good people of South Florida. All you have to do is call us at (305) 285-1115 and let us get to work for you right away.
We proudly serve all of the neighborhoods and communities of South Florida including but not limited to Hialeah, Miami Beach, Weston, Doral, Kendall, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Plantation, Miami Gardens, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Palm Beach County, Aventura, South Miami and Broward County.