Monday, November 21, 2016

Talking with the Adjustor - Recorded Statements

When you report a workplace accident, you will likely get a phone call from the workers compensation adjustor, who holds the pocketbook and decides whether to pay your claim.  The adjustor will tell you that you must cooperate with their investigation by filling out some forms.  And the adjustor will tell you he or she needs to interview you to determine how you got hurt.

At this point, injured workers have three choices:
(1) Tell the adjustor "no" which would cause the adjustor to stop processing the claim, resulting in no workers compensation benefits. (Not recommended.)
(2) Tell the adjustor "sure" which would cause the adjustor to record your interview and thereafter potentially use your statements (or inferences from your statements) against you. (Not recommended.)
(3) Tell the adjustor "sure" and then set up a time and have an attorney like me with you for the interview.  This would cause the adjustor to still take your statement but be more circumspect in the questions asked.  More importantly, I can help make sure the needed information is discussed in the interview. (Highly recommended.)

A quick story:  I once had a client where he had me be present during the telephone interview.  The Client clearly got hurt at work but the adjustor failed to ask several legally-important questions.  During the interview, I chimed in and had the Client explain some important aspects of how he got hurt.  With that pertinent information, the adjustor was persuaded to accept the claim.

Bottom line:  The adjustor does not work for the injured worker and has little incentive to ensure injured workers receive the proper benefits under the law--it's easier for the adjustor to simply say, "The injured worker is in his 50's and has pre-existing conditions, so this claim is denied."  But the law is not that simple, and most injured workers do not know the nuances of Utah workers compensation law.  (Benefits usually depends on the mechanism of injury and other factors.)

Invitation:  If you want me to help you with your interview, please call.  Remember, there is never an attorney fee unless/until you and I agree to that fee and we both sign an attorney-fee agreement.

So, have a question?  Just ask!  Call me at (435) 592-1235 or visit