What is an Examination Under Oath (EUO)?

What is an Examination Under Oath (EUO)?

Last week two clients came in to provide an EUO.  An EUO is a fancy phrase for an insurance defense lawyer questioning someone about a car crash case.  It’s basically a deposition.  Sworn statement under oath.

Who Will Request and be There?

Allstate, USAA, and State Farm are the most likely carriers to request an EUO in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  They use two main law firms to carry out the questioning.  The lawyers they hire are good.  However, they sometimes use scare tactics and intimidation in an effort to diminish a claim.  For example, one lawyer starts his entire line of questioning off with a tirade on insurance fraud and you can withdraw this claim at any time.  Insurance adjusters will also show up the EUO.  They don’t get to ask questions but will get the lawyer to ask what they want.

What is the Relevant Law?

Thanks to a really good personal injury lawyer and the Kentucky Supreme Court (KYSCT) the law is clear on what the insurance company can ask during an EUO.  They can ask questions related to the facts of the crash.  What they really want to ask is questions about treatment and unrelated issues.  The lawyers for the other side will try to sneak these questions in despite the fact the KYSCT has told them they cannot.

What Will They Ask?

The lawyers will ask questions about treatment that happened months and months ago.  They do this to later state that the records aren’t reflective of the treatment.  I find that to be misleading.  I wouldn’t remember on X Date six months ago at X time if I received X treatment.  That is why we have medical records.  I’ve also had them ask if my client got treatment but call the treatment by another name in an attempt to confuse my client.  Calling a TENS unit an “ultrasound” for example.

For last weeks EUO my clients were the passengers in a rear end collision.  They were not listed on the police report.  My clients had photographs at the scene of the crash and a consistent version of what happened—their driver rear ending the vehicle in front.  The catch is that after the crash their driver did not want a claim on her insurance.  In my estimation the driver then told the insurance company there were issues that didn’t exist.  They then used this to request the EUO and hassle my clients.

What Should My Lawyer Do?

Before I provide an EUO, I put on the record that my client is there to provide a facts of crash statement.  If applicable, I will state something about the facts of the crash and that the police report, medical bills, and medical expenses have been submitted to the insurance company.  Kentucky law presumes these bills reasonable and payable.  The reason for this is to avoid burdening the court with disputes.  This does not mean that the insurance companies follow the law.  They will try to get around it.

For the EUO last week I also had the photographs my clients took at the scene of the crash.  This consisted of pictures of the cars, drivers licenses, and police report number.  I also put on the record that the insurance company paid my clients benefits and then decided to cut them off.  It didn’t make sense to me for them to pay the benefits and then change their mind.  This was a rear end collision and my clients had proof they were involved.  One client went to school with the police officer.  Plus, who is going to get medical treatment if they aren’t hurt?  That is crazy, but insurance companies think the whole world is out to get them.  That is pretty sad.

Should I Attend an EUO Without a Lawyer?

If you are asked to provide an EUO make sure a lawyer is present and answer only facts of crash questions. The insurance company will go on a fishing expedition if a lawyer is not present.

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