If you are injured on the job you need to notify your employer, who will, in turn, notify it’s insurance company. When your employer’s insurance company contacts you for a statement, your first instinct will be to cooperate and answer all of the claims adjuster’s questions. This response is natural enough: insurance is there to make up for damages a worker has suffered, right?
Well, not exactly. Unfortunately for workers, insurance adjusters often make it difficult for injured employees to get the workers’ compensation they need and deserve following an accident. An on-the-job injury can dramatically alter your personal and working life, and cause serious physical and emotional suffering, both short- and long-term. While talking with an insurance adjuster might seem like a strong first step, unfortunately this is not the case.
Understanding insurance adjusters
Speaking with an insurance claims adjuster can jeopardize your chances of receiving adequate compensation for your injury. An insurance adjuster’s job is to:
a) Investigate the facts surround your injury
b) Evaluate the costs and effects of your injury and
c) To serve the needs of their employer, the insurance company.
At the end of the day, an insurance company wants to pay the minimum amount possible; this means that any conversation you may have with an insurance adjuster could be used against you during the settlement process. This is why it is critical to avoid providing a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster until you have sought legal counsel.
Talk to a lawyer before your talk to the insurance company
Remember, the claims adjuster reviews as many factors as possible in order to justify presenting a lower settlement amount to you. Claims adjusters are also employees of insurance companies and will use your statement to make your damages suffered seem less significant. If you misspeak, or if your statement is taken out of context, your statement can actually be used as a way to justify offering you less or denying you compensation altogether.
When insurance adjusters review claims and prepare an offer to an injured worker, they evaluate damages that have exact costs (medical bills and lost wages) and those related to pain and suffering (less exact costs). Providing a statement to a claims adjuster without legal counsel can be especially risky if you want to recover compensation for pain and suffering; since these damages have a less clear cost than a medical bill.
A workplace injury takes a serious toll on the mind and the body; if you’ve been injured, contact an experienced personal injury attorney; with their help, you can get the support you need and move forward.