I don’t want to paint a picture that everything Illinois work comp adjusters say isn’t true. I do, however, want you to realize that their goals aren’t the same as yours and it’s their job to try and not pay money on your case. So you should be wary of them even when they seem nice. Often they lie or stretch the truth. Here are the top lies we see all the time.
1. You have to give me a recorded statement- You absolutely don’t have to do this and you absolutely should not do this. The old saying that anything you say can and will be used against you applies here. Their questions may seem innocent, but if they ask how are you doing and you say “great” that could be interpreted that you don’t need any more medical care. Sounds crazy but it’s true. Never agree to have a conversation recorded, even if it’s one of those b.s. messages that it’s for “training purposes.”
2. We have accepted your case as compensable- This makes it seem like there is nothing to worry about. This decision can be reversed at any time and they can also dispute certain benefits or pay a percentage of what you are actually owed. Sometimes you realize this has happened and it’s too late such as when you settle the case and discover unpaid medical bills.
3. Your case is under investigation- It doesn’t take a long time to look in to most work injury claims. This is often double talk for “we are going to deny your case for no reason.”
4. That medical treatment isn’t necessary- I’m not a doctor. You’re not a doctor. And insurance adjusters aren’t doctors either. They shouldn’t give you medical advice and if they tell you that a certain medical procedure isn’t required that isn’t their place.
5. Workers’ comp doesn’t cover that- We’ve heard of adjusters saying that certain benefits aren’t available. The most common one is telling new or part time workers that they are not eligible to make a claim. You are covered the moment you start working no matter who you are.
6. We have a right to all of your medical records- The insurance company can access records related to your injury and prior treatment to a similar body part. What they can’t do is get every medical record you’ve ever had. If you hurt your knee, your pregnancy records are irrelevant. If you have a back injury, it’s none of their business that you saw a psychologist. Never sign a general medical release form.
7. If you don’t sign a release form, we can’t pay you- This kind of goes with the last lie, but it’s all b.s. If you get hurt at work and send them an off work slip from a doctor, they have to pay you.
8. Accept our settlement within 30 days or it will expire- Could this be true? Sure. Have I ever in 23 years seen it happen. No. It’s a bogus threat by people who think they are smart negotiators. The only time I’ve seen a settlement offer go away is when new facts came to light.
If you suspect the adjuster isn’t being honest you are probably right. We are happy to give a free assessment of your case any time you want even if you don’t hire us. We cover all of Illinois and are available at 312-346-5578 any time.