A better title to this blog post would be that you should never, ever, never give a recorded statement and if the insurance adjuster says if you don’t that your claim will be denied, they are a liar.
There is absolutely no law that requires a recorded statement and the only reason it is done is so the insurance company can try to use your words against you to deny your case.
This happened to a woman who called me recently. She was going down carpeted steps at work and tripped on a tear in the carpet which caused her to fall. She shattered her wrist and had surgery. Sounds like a straight forward slam dunk case, right?
Well this very nice woman who has never been injured at work did not know her rights. She was told a recorded statement is mandatory and when she described the accident to the adjuster she said that she stumbled going down the stairs. The adjuster then asked a question that made it sound as if this woman tripped over her own two feet and didn’t give her the opportunity to clarify what happened.
If you trip on a defect in the carpet, you win. If you trip because you had a clumsy moment, you lose. So this dead bang winner of a case is now a loser because the injured worker was a bit nervous and didn’t say things correctly. We could take her case to trial and the recorded statement would be used against her to make it look as if she was lying.
We would never let a client give these statements. When we do the talking for you, two important things happen. First off, nothing we say can be used against you. That protects you. Second, while we always tell the truth and insist that you do as well, we aren’t going to say anything that will hurt your case. This also protects you.
You aren’t an expert at giving testimony and shouldn’t be expected to be one. That’s why before you go to trial your lawyer will sit down with you and go over your testimony so there are no surprise questions. When you give a recorded statement it’s almost all surprise questions by someone who is trained to trip you up.
I feel very bad for this woman because she is legitimately hurt and is now being denied benefits. Had she known better this never would have happened.
Remember, if you have any questions about a case or anything to do with IL work comp law, call us at (312) 346-5578 or fill out our contact form on the top right of this page. We help throughout Illinois and talking to us is always free and confidential.