If you suffered an injury in a work-related accident, you may qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim in your state. One of the first steps during the claims process will involve speaking with a workers’ compensation adjuster, whose job is to get information about how the work-related incident occurred, your injuries, and your ability to return to work.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that the workers’ compensation adjuster works for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. This means their objective during any conversation with you will focus on finding reasons to reduce the amount of benefits the insurer will have to pay out to you. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we want to help our clients get the compensation they need, so below are five things you should not say to your workers’ comp adjuster after filing a claim about your injury.
#1: Don’t Give Any Inaccurate Details on How the Accident Happened
Claimants do not have to prove which party was “at fault” for a work-related accident to receive compensation. However, claimants must still provide accurate information on how the accident occurred, as fraudulent information can affect their eligibility to receive compensation. Alternatively, omitting information can also negatively affect your claim.
Instead, you should prepare what you intend to tell the workers’ compensation adjuster and stick to the facts. If the insurance adjuster attempts to press you for more details, they may be looking for any slight error in your statement. For this reason, you should decline giving any recorded statements and refer them to your attorney if you decide to work with one.
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#2: Don’t Lie About Your Preexisting Conditions
State and federal workers’ compensation programs generally do not provide coverage for preexisting conditions that the employee had prior to the work-related accident. However, if a work incident aggravated a preexisting condition, causing further injury, then the employee can claim workers’ compensation on those grounds.
The mistake that many people make is to omit their preexisting health conditions in an effort to get more compensation. Yet, the workers’ comp adjuster will have to investigate a claimant’s medical history to approve or deny their claim. Instead, you can choose to see your regular physician or specialist and have them provide testimony on how your preexisting condition was aggravated by the work incident, which the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs allows.
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#3: Avoid Giving Personal Information That Has Nothing to Do with Your Claim
Some workers’ comp adjusters use a friendly tactic of engaging in small talk when asking claimants about their work accidents. This strategy allows them to see if the individual’s personal lifestyle might have contributed to their injuries. For this reason, you should avoid giving any personal or unnecessary information, especially if it can be misconstrued by the adjuster.
Some examples of statements in this nature to avoid include:
- “I woke up with a major hangover because I went out drinking the night before.”
- “I got into a car accident about a month before and felt pain sometimes, but I think [the work incident] was the nail in the coffin.”
- “You know I wasn’t even supposed to come into work that day? I hate my manager—he’s always overworking me!”
- “I just started a new medication two weeks ago and sometimes it makes me sleepy.”
As mentioned before, keep your statement strictly about the facts, meaning no personal opinions or side theories about what “might” have happened or affected you at the time of the accident.
#4: Don’t Say Anything That Limits the Extent of Your Injuries
Some people have an innate reflex to downplay their injuries and try to remain humble when filing a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. While you might be doing this in good spirit or as a kind gesture to not cause conflict with your employer, this could actually harm your case.
The workers’ compensation adjuster might interpret statements like “I’m recovering well” or “I don’t need/want surgery for my injuries; it’s not that bad” as admissions that your injuries aren’t as severe to warrant the compensation award you’re seeking. Try to avoid making any claims about the severity of your injuries beyond what type of injury you have and the estimated recovery time your physician recommends.
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#5: Don’t Agree to Anything Without Discussing with Your Lawyer
In many cases, a workers’ compensation adjuster may offer a settlement figure to close the case early. However, signing paperwork without discussing terms with your lawyer can put you at risk of not receiving sufficient compensation for your injuries. Furthermore, the workers’ comp adjuster will not consider your interests, such as whether you’re ready to return to work. Their goal is to end payouts so that you can return to your employer’s payroll.
When you work with a workers’ compensation attorney from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we can put a halt to any insurance adjuster’s tactics. We advocate for our clients and fight for the compensation they need. Our legal team can investigate your case to collect evidence for your claim and your attorney can represent you in all communications with the adjuster. Your lawyer will protect your case and work to negotiate a fair settlement deal for you.
Let a Lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Speak for You Instead
While speaking with a workers’ comp adjuster is a typical part of the claims process, there are certain things you should not say to avoid having your case become affected. Rather than risk jeopardizing your case, you can opt to work with a personal injury lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. Our legal team can manage your case and serve as your representative as we help you file for disability benefits.
If you have questions about our legal services or how you can afford to work with a lawyer, call our firm today to get a free consultation with one of our team members. Our hotline is available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to start your legal journey today.