Whether you’re injured on the job, an auto accident, a slip and fall, or any number of other means of sustaining a bodily injury, recorded statements are taken by insurance companies as a matter of routine in nearly every case. Sometimes people wonder why a recorded statement is necessary given the amount of information the insurance company already has. The most common form of inquiry heard from individuals faced with a request to provide a recorded statement is something along the lines of, “what could I possibly tell the insurance company that they don’t already know?” Well, probably more than you realize.
An insurance adjuster reviews medical records, documents relating to the accident, and whatever other information may be available in order to set what is referred to as a “reserve amount.” A reserve amount is an amount of money the insurance company’s adjuster will set aside or otherwise note as being necessary for payment in the claim. By setting a reserve amount, an insurance company is better able to keep track of their assets and liabilities. An accident with severe catastrophic injuries will have a higher reserve amount than one involving minor injuries. If the accident occurred while you were on the job or is otherwise a work-related accident, the adjuster may speak with your employer, supervisor, and any witnesses known to have observed the incident. What the adjuster hasn’t done . . . who they haven’t heard from . . . is you.
A recorded statement is an opportunity for you to explain to the adjuster exactly what did, and did not, occur in connection with your accident. This is an important part of the evaluation process an insurance company goes through when determining how to handle your claim. Refusing to provide a recorded statement is only going to benefit you if you’re refusing until you have an attorney representing you at the time you provide your statement. A complete refusal to cooperate with the insurance company and their attempt to investigate the claim is likely to result in delay in the processing and handling of your claim, or worse. It’s advisable to wait until you’ve secured council to provide a recorded statement. It is not wise to avoid providing a recorded statement all together. Your attorney can determine the best time and manner for your recorded statement while ensuring that your answers to the questions asked do not compromise your claim. We understand that insurance companies can act fast after an accident and that you may have already provided a recorded statement. If you have, it is by no means the end of the world. You should contact us to discuss your claim, regardless of whether you’ve provided a recorded statement or not. Consultations are free. You have nothing to lose and valuable information to gain.
For work-related accidents and on the job injuries, including work-related diseases and conditions resulting from toxic exposure; your recorded statement can be given more significance than it might otherwise be. Your recorded statement is a standard component of any work comp carrier’s investigation of the claim. Why would such significance be placed on your recorded statement in a work comp claim? Because the work comp carrier is seeking to find any reason they could attempt to successfully argue as a basis to deny your claim for work comp benefits. As you’re probably capable of concluding, the less an insurance company pays in connection with a claim, the more profitable they are. The premium payments from employers are taken by the work comp carrier, used to cover their operating expenses, and then invested in order to earn a return on the investment of the premiums. The preferred direction in which a work comp carrier wants to see money flow is one way – into their accounts and not out of it. Paying less increases profits, while having to pay benefits for a work comp claim decreases profits. Employers have a tendency to be concerned about whether the fact an employee was injured will raise the cost of their workers compensation premiums. For this reason, there is a tendency for employers, supervisors, and others involved with your employer to misrepresent the facts surrounding your accident and the resulting injuries to the work comp insurance adjuster. The misguided belief held by some employers is that if they can speak to the adjuster and make it sound as though the accident didn’t happen or the injuries are minor, they won’t experience any increases in their work comp premiums. We have seen claims denied entirely based on false information provided by an employer to a work comp carrier. Though we work to correct instances in which a work comp adjuster has made a mistake in denying a claim, the mere fact they did so delays the receipt of benefits for the injured employee.
The benefit of providing a recording statement in a work comp case is that it will provide you with the opportunity to tell the insurance company your side of the story, so to speak, in terms of what actually occurred. There are attorneys that disagree; believing that nothing good can come from an injured employee providing a recorded statement to a work comp insurance adjuster or an investigator hired by the work comp carrier. Our years of experience resulted in us having more knowledge and insight into the inner workings of Florida workers compensation claims in comparison to the vast majority of other firms handling Florida work comp claims. The Dolman Law Group understands how work comp adjusters think, what they perceive, and how they’re likely to react. That foresight allows us to make recommendations and advise our clients of what actions to take and statements to make well before any negative repercussions result from making the wrong statement or engaging in the wrong conduct. If you would like to have a free consultations with absolutely no obligations, contact our office at 727-451-6900 or visit www.dolmanlaw.com.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765