What You Should and Should Not Say to a Workers’ Comp Adjuster
After sustaining a workplace accident and beginning the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you eventually have a conversation with your employer’s workers’ compensation company. The adjuster you speak to has one primary goal – to minimize the amount of money the insurance company will pay. To accomplish this, he or she will be looking for any indicators that you are being dishonest about your injuries, or ways to take any statements you make out of context. Therefore, it is important that you are very careful when speaking to the insurance adjuster to ensure you do not inadvertently harm your own claim.
Below is a list of tips you should keep in mind during any conversations you might have the insurance adjuster:
- Never agree to a recorded statement. You are not obligated to provide a recorded statement to the workers’ compensation adjuster and doing so will not do you any favors, so politely decline this request. Adjusters often ask for recorded statements to try to elicit information from you that can be used to poke holes in your claim.
- Do not get conversational with the insurance adjuster. Oftentimes, adjusters will try to engage in casual conversation in an attempt to relax the person they are speaking to. The more relaxed you are, the more comfortable you become with discussing details you might not otherwise provide. As a general rule of thumb, you should never discuss anything except the basic facts of the accident, including where it occurred, the date and time it occurred, what type of accident it was, and which body parts were injured.
- You should never agree to anything until your workers’ compensation attorney has had a chance to review the documents. You should also never sign any documents until your attorney is able to review them.
- If you are asked any questions regarding your family, do not answer them. Remember, you are not obligated to provide any information regarding your family or financial situation.
- Always take notes of every conversation you have with the insurance adjuster.
- If you have yet to see a doctor, ask for a panel of physicians.
- When describing injuries to any of your body parts, be overly inclusive. Otherwise, if you accidentally omit an area, they will not pay for it. For example, if you sustained a neck injury, it might cause arm pain and shoulder pain, so it would be best to include all of these body parts when describing your injuries.
- If you are asked about any pre-existing conditions, always answer honestly. The pre-existing condition itself is not covered, but any aggravations your workplace injury caused will be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Lastly, when speaking about the accident, always be very specific about how it occurred.
It is also imperative that you hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. He or she will be able to advise you on how to handle your conversations with the workers’ compensation adjuster.
Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Sacramento
If you were injured in a workplace accident, you have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits that can help you through your period of recovery. At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our skilled team of workers’ compensation attorneys is committed to fighting on behalf of injured workers to help ensure they are able to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled.