What is an Examination Under Oath - Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you have filed an insurance claim, there is a strong change you have been asked to engage in an Examination Under Oath (“EUO”). An EUO is a process that is used by insurance companies to gather information about an insurance claim in an effort to prevent fraud, determine coverage, and also to allow an insured to prove the extent of their damages. More often than not, an insured is contractually obligated to engage in the EUO. Therefore, if the insured does not strictly comply with the requests of the EUO pursuant to the insurance contract, the insurance company can deny coverage entirely.
During the EUO, a representative of the insurance company (often times an attorney) is given an opportunity to ask the insured various questions related to the loss. The insured is sworn under oath prior to answering any questions, and there is generally a court reporter present to transcribe and memorialize the EUO so the statements made can be used against the insured in the future.
There are several reasons why it is well advised to have an attorney representing you during an EUO. First, the individual questioning the insured during an EUO is usually an attorney hired by the insurer. Attorneys are skilled at asking questions in a way that can benefit their client, which in the case of an EUO, is the policyholder’s insurance company. Thus, it is in your best interest to be represented by an attorney at the EUO as well. Second, the attorney(s) conducting the EUO will likely ask questions which will either support denying coverage entirely, or drastically limiting the amount of the claim. Having an attorney representing you during the EUO will significantly minimize this risk. Lastly, the cost of retaining an attorney for an EUO is often times far less than the risk of having coverage denied entirely, or having the amount of the claim limited dramatically.
All in all, an EUO is a critical part of the claims investigation process that should be taken very seriously. Mistakes made during an EUO can result in the insurance company substantially limiting the scope and the amount of the claim, or denying coverage entirely. Having a skilled attorney representing you during the EUO can substantially decrease your susceptibility to those risks, and can put you in the best position to maximize your recovery. Therefore, if you or someone you know has been asked to engage in an EUO, contact the attorneys at Ball & McCann, P.C. immediately. We have a proven track record of successfully representing our clients in a wide variety of EUOs and ensuring the process goes smoothly, and our client’s recovery are maximized.