If we needed to answer your question with just one word, then that word would be “carefully.”
In most cases, your workers’ compensation benefits will be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Insurance companies can maximize their profits by paying out as little as possible in insurance claims. Thus, insurance adjusters want to help make their employers profitable, and it is their job to get you and other injured workers to accept as little as possible in a settlement.
Since your goal is not to get as little as possible—but instead to get fair benefits following your injury—it is important to be careful when dealing with an insurance adjuster. Anything that you say to an insurance adjuster may be misconstrued and later used against you. Insurance adjusters may appear genuinely concerned about your recovery and interested in how your injury is impacting your life. Yet you should never lose sight of the fact that you have competing goals.
Instead of talking freely with an insurance adjuster, you should always answer only the question asked of you directly and without providing additional speculation. For example, if the adjuster asks you if the doctor has given you medical clearance to return to work, then you should answer with a yes or no and not with a speculative answer such as, “No, but I expect that the doctor will provide me that information at my next appointment.”
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
Insurance adjusters are professionals. They know what questions to ask and how to ask them. It can be stressful to deal with them correctly and the consequences of dealing with them incorrectly can be significant.
However, you don’t have to be the one to talk directly with the insurance adjusters about your claim. Instead, if you are represented by a workers’ compensation lawyer, then it is your attorney who will handle all communications with the insurance company and who will make sure that your rights are protected.
If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your claim or to find out more tips for protecting your workers’ compensation case, then we encourage you to contact us via this website or by phone to learn more.