What is an Examination Under Oath?

If you are currently in the midst of a prolonged struggle with your insurance company over a delayed or denied claim, you may be asked to submit to an examination under oath. An examination under oath or “EUO” is a formal proceeding during which an insured, under oath and in the presence of a court reporter, is questioned by an insurance company representative.

If you have never been involved in any type of legal proceeding before, the proposition of sitting in a room, swearing an oath to tell the truth, and being questioned by an attorney while a court reporter writes down every word can be very daunting. You will be questioned by a representative of the insurance company, which will typically be an attorney. The goal of the person questioning you will be to find inconsistencies or other issues with your testimony, which can then be used against you either in negotiations or in court. Needless to say, an examination under oath can be quite stressful and difficult for most people who are not used to this type of experience. While the insurance companies would prefer that you attend EUO’s on your own, you have the right to have an attorney with you.

What to Expect During an Examination Under Oath?

An examination under oath (EUO) usually takes several hours and is a lot like a deposition: The insurance company’s attorney verbally questions the insured under oath. A court reporter swears the insured in and records the questions and answers via audio recording and via note taking. The insurance company’s lawyer won’t tell you what type of questions they will be asking, why they are asking them, or provide you with any type of information of that nature. The specifics of what you will experience will vary based on your type of claim. Generally, questions are limited to matters that are material to the circumstances surrounding the insurer’s liability and the extent of said liability. The person asking questions will want to gather as many details about the incident as possible. They will ask questions about very specific things, so they have you on record with these answers.

Do I have to attend an 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. Although an insured must comply to avoid breaching any policy conditions, there are some valid excuses for an insured’s refusal to comply. These include a defective notice of intent to examine, objection to unreasonable time and place, and denial of the insured’s right to have an attorney present.

An EUO can be a trap for the unwary, and insureds should be careful when submitting to an EUO. If unsure or uncertain, an insured should consult with a knowledgeable insurance attorney before providing sworn testimony to the carrier. Even if your insurance company tries to tell you that this is just a formality that you need to go through, you absolutely don’t want to face it without proper representation. Having an attorney at your side during an EUO is your right and can help protect you from potential issues with your insurance claim.

If you were injured in a car accident, and your insurance company is requesting your presence at an examination under oath, it is highly advisable to consider retaining the services of your own attorney as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Suarez & Montero, we have been providing experienced, effective and ethical representation to our clients for decades. As such, we are more than familiar with the tactics employed by insurance companies in examinations under oath and stand ready to protect your rights.

Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a FREE Consultation!

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.