Recorded statements can be a trap for the unwary

In some workers’ compensation cases, the insurance company will ask an injured worker to make a recorded statement. When this happens, it can spell trouble for the worker. It indicates that the insurance company may be trying to collect information with the aim of minimizing benefits or denying the claim altogether. At the same time, if you refuse to cooperate or display a truculent attitude, the insurer could cite that as a reason for refusing to pay your claim. What’s an injured worker to do?

The insurance adjuster is not your friend

Your supervisor, the human resources department, and others in authority at your employer may be very sympathetic and genuinely concerned about your injury. The insurance representative or adjuster who speaks with you may sound friendly too, but the person on the other end of the line has a job to do. That job is to find ways to minimize the benefits the insurance company has to pay.

After establishing rapport and confirming some basic information, the representative may ask leading questions such as:

  • You’ve been doing it that way for a long time haven’t you?
  • Did anything unusual happen that day?
  • How has your accident affected your leisure activities?

When an adjuster asks these kinds of questions, it means one thing: the insurance company is looking for a good faith reason to deny your claim.

Don’t go down the wrong road

What you say in response to these types of questions could result in a denied claim. Before agreeing to a recorded statement, get advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney can serve as a buffer, protecting your rights while communicating necessary information to the insurance company. There are many ways to do this without jeopardizing your claim. Your attorney may agree to a recorded statement provided that he or she is present. Your attorney may ask the insurance adjuster to provide questions in writing. Then again, your attorney may be able to successfully resolve your claim through negotiations with the insurance company without your further involvement.

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