What Is an Examination Under Oath?
If you’ve been involved in an incident that required an insurance claim (e.g., an injury in a car accident, work-place injury, etc.), you know that the insurer has the right to interview witnesses or parties involved in the case. A primary method for determining what, if any, adjustments are needed for a claim is the examination under oath (EUO). If you are facing such an examination, we here at Jordan Law believe you deserve to know what to expect from this process, so you can present your best case under oath. To that end, we created this primer on what the EUO is, what questions you might face, and what you can expect to happen during the process.
What Is the Examination Under Oath?
This process provides the insurer the means to acquire information from involved parties, operating much as a deposition. A court reporter records the session, all testimony is given under oath, counsel for the insured attends, and a transcript is provided to both parties afterward. Unlike a deposition, the EUO has no legal limitation on how often this process can be conducted and the insured party must submit to the as many EUO sessions as the insuring party wishes to hold.
Submission to an EUO is required as a precedent in insurance coverage. Refusal to submit or making false claims may result in the insuring party refusing to pay the claim. You will also have to sign the transcript at the end of the session. Additionally, the insured party agrees to comply with an EUO as a requirement in filing the lawsuit in the first place. Finally, the Fifth Amendment cannot be used to avoid answering questions in the EUO.
When Do EUOs Take Place?
In most cases, an EUO is scheduled when the insuring agent discovers discrepancies in the investigation into the cause of the loss or the content of what was stolen, damaged, or destroyed. An insuring agent also uses the EUO when the agent suspects a fraudulent or embellished claim was filed.
Who Might Face an EUO?
The named parties under an insurance plan are the only individuals who can be called in to complete an EUO. Children or other family members covered under the same policy, but not named individually, cannot be required to submit to an EUO. However, the insuring party may interview each party named on the policy separately to avoid collusion or tampering with testimony and get to the answers they need faster.
What Might You Be Asked
The insuring party may ask you any questions considered material and relevant to the claim. The insuring party targets questions to determine liability and find anything that might protect the company from false claims.
The important thing for you to remember is that you will never be alone in this process. Your lawyer will be present always, acting in your best interests, giving you advice when needed, and providing general support for you. Remember, the answers must still be your own, which is why Denver personal injury attorneys at Jordan Law take the time to prepare our clients in advance, so they feel ready and able to answer all questions presented by the examining agent.