Why injured workers should never give a recorded statement
Written by Vuk Vujasinovic
Despite what the insurance adjuster may tell you, you are not legally required to give a recorded statement for your injury claim to be processed. Giving a recorded statement will not further your case. Instead, it could do a lot to wreck your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries. If the insurance adjuster is pressuring you to give a recorded statement before they will allow you to receive medical treatment or compensation, call an experienced attorney right away. It’s simply not worth the risk of wrecking of your work injury claim.
The insurance company may tell you that a recorded statement is needed to hurry your case along or that it is simply part of the settlement process. In reality, employers and insurance companies often use these recorded statements to twist victims’ words and attempt to minimize their injuries or deny their potential claims. If you make the mistake of agreeing to a statement, you should know that they will generally ask difficult questions, misleading questions, or questions you don’t understand. While you are being recorded, you might be asked – or even pressured – to immediately accept a settlement for the costs of your injury.
You may feel like you have nothing to hide, and you may wonder what the harm could really be. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of injured workers who do not understand their rights, and the pressure can be intense. We certainly sympathize. In a perfect world, settling a work injury claim should be as simple as telling the truth about what happened to you. However, you should realize that your employer and its insurance company probably do not have your best interests in mind when asking for a recorded statement – and it’s extremely likely that they will try to use your words against you later on to protect their own interests.
When you have been hurt at work, one of the first things you find out about pursuing a successful work injury claim is that you have to document everything: doctor’s visits, your progress, missed work, medical bills, lost wages, communication regarding the injury—the list goes on and on. With that in mind, it probably doesn’t seem all that surprising that your employer wants you to give an official statement.
However, although documentation and evidence are key to the success of your case, don’t be tempted to give a recorded statement, especially without the guidance of an experienced attorney on your side. Giving a recorded statement to your employer or its insurance company is more than just simple documentation, and you need to make sure that you are protecting yourself as you figure out the details.
We understand that you want to do everything in your power to move your injury claim along as quickly as possible. However, don’t put your right to compensation at risk. If you are being asked or pressured to give a recorded statement after you have been hurt, speak with an experienced attorney before you make a decision—and make sure you are fully prepared to protect your rights.
Recorded Statements Aren’t the Only Concern After a Work Injury
Even if you are able to avoid giving a recorded statement, there are other ways to fall into the trap of saying or doing something that negatively impacts your work injury claim, including:
On the phone with the insurance company. Even in an unrecorded statement to the insurance company, you could accidentally say or do something that affects your rights or jeopardizes your claim.
In writing. You may receive a number of documents in the mail, and you may be asked to fill out the answers to written questions from the insurance company. This comes with many of the same risks as a spoken statement. To be safe, do not submit any statements in writing, including signing any documents, without first reviewing the document with your attorney.
On social media outlets. It may come as a surprise to many, but insurance companies are not above using your Facebook or Twitter posts as evidence to undermine your claim. Even seemingly unrelated posts could be used against you, so be very careful what you say online when you are pursuing a work injury claim.
An experienced attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and help you avoid making many of the common mistakes that wreck work injury claims. If you are being pressured to give a recorded statement after a work injury, or if you have questions about your rights, VB Attorneys can help you get answers. Give us a call at 877.724.7800 or fill out our free, confidential case evaluation form.