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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After My Work Injury?

When you sustain an injury on the job it’s crucial to report your injury to a manager or supervisor right away. You should also file a Form 18 with the Industrial Commission, which can be submitted electronically. Click here for Form 18.

In order for your case to be accepted, the insurance company must follow an investigative process to determine if your case will be accepted or denied. They will review medical records regarding the injury and talk to your employer. They will also talk to you by phone to obtain what is known in the workers’ comp industry as a “recorded statement.”

The recorded statement is a key phone call for them – and for you. What you say can lead to acceptance of your claim or denial.

Be careful how you explain what happened to cause your injury. And be careful how you answer seemingly harmless questions. You want to tell the truth, of course, but we have seen instances where the insurance adjuster spun the truth out of context in their efforts to deny claims.

What is a recorded statement?

The first contact you have with the workers’ comp insurance adjuster will likely be in the form of a recorded statement. The adjuster will call you and ask your permission to ask you questions over the phone while they record the conversation.

The recorded statement should be approached with great caution, and it is prudent to consult with an attorney prior to providing one. Here’s why.

The insurance adjuster is NOT on your side.

The primary purpose of the questions the adjuster asks during the recorded statement is to gather facts and information about your workplace accident. The adjuster might try and use this information to deny your claim.

That is why it is so important to be careful what you say and how you say it – and why we urge people to contact a workers’ comp lawyer before anything is said in that recorded statement.

“Anything unusual happen?”

Let’s say, for example, after you describe your work accident the adjuster asks you if anything unusual happened. Were you doing a task that is part of your regular job and were you doing it the way you normally would? The purpose of this question is not to judge whether or not you are a conscientious and careful employee. The answer you give might be directly related to the compensability of your case. In order for an injury to be considered compensable, there must be an “injury by accident,” which means that something out of the ordinary or unusual must have happened.

“Unusual” to the insurance company might mean that one particular shelf you were stocking had been moved higher than usual and you lost your balance and fell while reaching. To you, reaching for a high shelf is all in a hard day’s work. So you might reply that nothing unusual happened. Unusual to you might mean the electricity went out and you were stocking shelves in the dark.

If you tell them you were doing your job as usual at the time of injury and omit to report any unusual circumstances, such as the shelf having been moved a bit higher than normal, your case may potentially be denied.

To the insurance company, this critical piece of information could be a key factor in accepting or denying your claim. Adjusters know you are not aware of this. But they know we are!

There are a few exceptions to the “injury by accident” requirement. Different rules apply for injuries to the neck and back, hernias, and repetitious motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The most important thing that you have at the beginning of a recorded statement is your good word, and you need to make sure the adjuster is not distorting your word. Be honest, brief, stick to the facts, and don’t editorialize, i.e., “I didn’t get much sleep last night, and was feeling more tired than usual.” Be aware, we’ve seen some adjusters try to veer off-track and make judgments about the incident, i.e. “Were you taking anything like cold medicine?”

Why consult with an experienced workers’ comp attorney?

This is just one example of the hundreds of nuances of workers’ compensation law. That is why we urge anyone who is faced with giving a statement to an insurance representative to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney first. We can try to help you understand the types of questions you may be asked and possible pitfalls and nuances in language to heed. We can also be part of the conversation during your recorded statement. If inappropriate questions are asked we can object.

Get a FREE Evaluation From a NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Not only do we have many experienced workers’ comp attorneys who deal with these issues every day, we have seven North Carolina Board Certified specialists in workers’ comp law. Many of our staff used to work for the insurance companies – and two worked at the NC Industrial Commission. There’s something to be said for that kind of inside experience.

Before you talk to any insurance representative, especially on a recorded statement, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078. We’re available to take your call 24/7.

 

PS: For the record, you have the right to decline a recorded statement and provide a written statement instead.

Susan “Ali” Overby joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin’s workers’ compensation department in 2015.

She received her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law, where she attended on a partial merit scholarship. Prior to her law degree, she completed the Paralegal Program at Meredith College and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, where she double majored in English and Psychology and was a dean’s list scholar.

Ms. Overby worked for over six years as a personal injury and workers’ compensation paralegal, and now she practices law focusing exclusively on workers’ compensation cases. She enjoys being a resource for injured workers

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078