Many insurance companies will telephone the injured worker immediately upon an accident being reported. The adjuster will say that the worker must give a recorded statement before he or she gets paid or receives medical treatment. This sounds innocent enough. However, the reason that they do this is to lock the injured worker into whatever he or she says in this initial recorded conversation.
The worker is deemed responsible for whatever they say in the recorded statement. Of course, this is completely unfair because the injured worker could be suffering from stress due to the injury and likely under the influence of narcotic pain medications. The adjuster is an experienced interrogator and will ask the injured worker questions and will try to obtain information that could be used against the injured worker to prevent workers’ compensation benefits. The adjuster may see helpful and friendly but they are hoping to find any loophole to deny benefits—that is their job!
For example, if a person falls down the stairs at work, there are situations where this type of accident would not be covered by workers’ compensation. The circumstances must be right in order for this type of an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The adjuster is taking the statement, not to understand how or why the worker suffered an injury (although that certainly may be a byproduct of the recorded statement), but to find a problem or loophole through which to deny benefits.
What is the secret? In short, there is nothing in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act that requires a worker to give a recorded statement. Therefore, my advice is always the same—DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT OF ANY KIND. In my over twenty years of working with injured workers, I have never permitted any of my clients to give this type of statement. Do not be fooled—do not be tricked, no matter what the adjuster tells you.