Over the course of filing a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company may contact you and ask for a recorded statement. In most—if not all—cases, you should decline this request. Just tell them no.
The reason for this is that the insurance company is looking for ways to either reduce the amount they have to pay you or to deny your claim entirely.
What the Insurance Company Wants
Insurance companies are businesses, and like any business, their operations are designed to generate revenue. That frequently means minimizing expenditures, such as the revenue they’d have to spend paying for medical costs, lost time from work, etc. One of the tactics they use to keep their expenses to a minimum is to misrepresent the nature of your injury.
In the course of taking a recorded statement, the insurance adjuster may ask questions that are designed to get specific responses. Even answering something as simple as “How are you today?” could make your case more difficult. In the course of this conversation, the adjuster isn’t looking for information; they’re looking for reasons to deny your claim.
Because of this, your best bet is to avoid playing alone. If you’re asked for a recorded statement, the best course of action is to tell them no and contact an attorney immediately.
Ways a Recorded Statement Can Be Used Against You
Recorded statements—and the conversations used to obtain them—are often used to undermine perfectly valid workers’ compensation claims. The questions the insurance company asks may be used to misrepresent your situation in the following ways.
Minimize or Narrow Your Injury
Often, they may try to minimize or narrow the scope of your injury based on your responses. For example, if they ask a leading question like, “So you only hurt your tailbone?” your response might be used as evidence that you didn’t have any injuries aside from your tailbone.
For an injured worker who just wants to get coverage, it may be tempting to just go along with these kinds of questions to expedite the process. However, it only diminishes your claim in the end.
Demonstrate No Connection with Work
Some questions might be an effort to divorce your injury from work-related activities. Questions as simple as “Did anything unusual happen?” or “Did you see what caused your injury when it happened?” could be used to misrepresent your claim as unrelated to work, which would be grounds for denying payment.
Win Conditions for a Workers’ Comp Claim
In order to successfully receive compensation for a work injury, you must be able to prove it was both serious enough to warrant medical treatment and that it arose from fulfilling work-related duties. A request for a recorded statement is often an attempt to prove that your injury doesn’t fulfill those requirements, so it’s best to leave communication with the insurance company to a competent attorney.
If you have been injured on the job and are contacted by your employer’s insurance company, your best move is typically to involve a workers’ compensation lawyer. Hart David Carson LLP can help you receive the benefits you deserve.