“I’ll tell you what the public likes more then anything. It’s the rarest commodity in the world-honesty.” -Merle Haggard
One of the questions we are frequently asked is whether an injured worker should give a recorded statement, such as a written letter, signed statement, a video interview, or any other kind of statement willingly given to a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster.
The answer is always NO.
The First Step
I will get back to recorded statements in a moment. If you've been injured on the job, you probably have a ton of questions. I understand. You are concerned about your family and your livelihood. My suggestion for the first step you should take before anything else is to read my book, Win Your Injury Case. I wrote it to help folks like you, good people who got hurt on the job. You can order a free copy and I will cover the shipping too.
You Should Never Give a Recorded Statement to a Workers’ Compensation Adjuster
The first thing all injured workers should know is that they do not have to give a statement to receive California workers’ compensation benefits. If an adjuster is attempting to delay your medical treatment or weekly compensation checks until you give a statement, you should contact an attorney immediately. Your legal representative can call the adjuster on your behalf and get your benefits approved.
Here are a few reasons why speaking with the insurance adjuster on the phone, in person, or even through email can be disastrous for your case:
- Anything you say WILL be used to discredit you. The insurance representative’s job is not to process claims; it is to save his company money. Any information he can gather—such as past injuries you have suffered outside of work or how many vacation days you have used—can potentially be used as a reason to deny your claim.
- A recorded statement does NOT benefit your case. There is only one way a recorded statement can be used: to disprove facts in your case or discredit you as a witness. Why would you willingly do something that could potentially disqualify you from receiving compensation, but cannot benefit you in any way?
- The insurance representative is NOT on your side. Insurance adjusters and investigators are very good at their jobs. They not only know which questions to ask after an accident, but they are also trained to seem sympathetic and helpful to work injury victims. They know that victims are nervous and in pain, and will say whatever comes to mind without considering how it could be used against them.
What If I Already Gave a Written or Recorded Statement?
If you already gave a statement to the insurance company, you must go into damage control mode immediately. The first thing you should do is request a copy of the statement, with a proof of service, from the insurance company. This request should be in writing. If you have hired an attorney, you should tell your attorney that you gave a statement so that he can examine a copy of the statement to find out how much damage has been done to your case.
Need to find out what can be done to save your workers’ compensation claim? Fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call (619) 234-2833
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley