After a job injury, your employer’s insurance company may ask for a recorded statement before making a workers’ compensation settlement offer. Providing an official statement sounds simple, but you must be careful about what you say. Even though North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits should be awarded regardless of fault, adjusters look for reasons to minimize or deny payments to claimants.
Protect your claim by talking to workers’ compensation lawyers at Kreger Brodish LLP. Our experienced attorneys can coach you on how to give a recorded statement that helps rather than hurts your case. If your employer or its workers’ comp insurer disputes your claim, our legal team will defend your rights. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What Are Common Questions You May Be Asked in a Recorded Statement In North Carolina?
Expect these questions from a workers’ compensation adjuster:
- What injuries did you suffer? This is one of the most important questions for workers’ compensation claims. List the injuries you suffered, but don’t exaggerate the extent of them. Lying about your injuries may lead a workers’ compensation adjuster to deny your claim.
- Did you see a doctor right away? Seeing a doctor promptly strengthens your workers’ compensation claim. Waiting to seek treatment opens the door for the insurer to argue your delay caused or worsened your injuries.
- What kind of medical care are you receiving? Employers must cover reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to an employee’s injuries after a workplace accident. An adjuster may ask about your treatment to see if certain services fall outside the scope of what they consider reasonable to minimize how much they have to pay.
- Did anyone else see the accident? Eyewitness accounts can cut both ways regarding workers’ compensation claims. If a witness backs up your story, you may be more likely to have your claim approved with full benefits. But if your account is inconsistent with what the witness says, the workers’ comp adjuster could deny your claim or reduce your benefits.
- Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina work under a no-fault system, which means you are usually eligible to receive benefits after an accident regardless of who caused it. One exception to this rule relates to accidents involving drugs or alcohol. If you give your employer or a workers’ compensation adjuster any reason to suspect you were impaired at the time of an accident, you could face a denial.
- How long is your treatment expected to last? Your employer must cover any medical bills related to the injury until you fully recover or reach the point where further treatment won’t improve your condition. Healing from a severe injury can take a long time, but workers’ compensation providers want to save money. Don’t underestimate or guess about the timeline for your recovery. Get approximate answers from your doctor before giving the recorded statement. If your recovery takes longer than expected, you could face challenges in getting additional benefits.
How Should I Answer Insurance Adjuster’s Questions in North Carolina?
The best way to protect your rights when you give a recorded statement is to have an attorney present during questioning. A workers’ compensation lawyer can tell when an adjuster asks an unfair or illegal question or sense if you are being led into a verbal trap.
These general guidelines can help you answer questions from workers’ comp adjusters:
- Keep calm. Getting angry or upset will only hurt your case, so stay cool no matter how frustrated you become.
- Answer the questions in detail. Being vague in your responses could leave room for misinterpretations that you are insincere or unsure of yourself.
- Be honest and avoid embellishing your injuries. If a workers’ compensation provider can make a good case that you lied about or exaggerated your condition, they might deny your claim or cut off any benefits you currently receive.
- Watch for trick questions. An attorney can help you prepare for questions that might make you look bad or jeopardize your claim.
What Should I Watch for in the Recorded Statement in North Carolina?
No matter how friendly an adjuster may seem, their job is to protect their company’s bottom line. Watch out for tactics that could help them justify a lower payout. This could include asking the same question with slightly different phrasing or seemingly harmless questions like, “How are you today?” You’d be surprised at the different ways insurance companies try to manipulate injured people with dirty tricks.
What Are The Workers’ Compensation Adjuster’s Trick Questions in North Carolina?
Unfortunately, trick questions often come with the insurance claims territory.
For example, an adjuster may ask about a previous injury to see if they can blame your current injury on a preexisting condition. Or they might ask whether you’d performed the same work duty before with no problem. Be careful ― your answers could sink your claim. Having an attorney on the call when you give your statement can help protect you from a potentially harmful situation.
Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Kreger Brodish LLP is an accomplished full-service law firm committed to providing high-quality legal services to clients in Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding communities. We are experienced workers compensation attorneys who understand the challenges clients face when an injury or illness sidelines them from work. Let us help you pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you need without delay or distress. Call or contact us now for a free case review.