If you’ve ever seen an arrest on a TV show or movie, you’ve heard the saying, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney …”
This is called a Miranda Warning and it’s done in real life when the police arrest you and want to question you. If they just arrest you they don’t have to do it, but if they want to ask facts about what happened they do.
So why is an Illinois workers comp attorney writing about this?
It’s not part of Illinois work comp law, but it should be a part of your thinking if you get injured on the job. While you have to notify your employer of an accident or injury within 45 days of it happening, it’s the insurance company that you should view as the police.
It’s likely that you will get a call from an insurance adjuster after you report a claim. Just like a criminal attorney would tell a client not to talk to the police, even if they’ve done nothing wrong, we are here to tell you not to talk to the insurance company. Why? Anything you say can and will be used against you!
But why does it matter if I clearly got hurt at work? Because they aren’t interested in the truth. They will ask questions to trip you up or twist the facts if they can. They will ask about irrelevant things such as really old injuries. They’ll talk to you while you are hopped up on painkillers and are open to suggestion or may not even know what you are saying.
They will also ask to record a statement from you. You don’t have to do this and absolutely should not do it. It’s often a hail Mary from them to try to get your words misinterpreted and use that to deny the payment of any benefits.
In an ideal world, the work comp insurance company would want to simply know the truth and do what they can to help you get healthy and back to work. That’s not how insurance companies work, unfortunately. They are worried about their bottom line. Insurance adjusters get compensated in part based on how many cases they can deny like yours.
And as the Miranda Warning says, you have a right to an attorney. That warning exists because courts want you to know what is in your best interests. And it’s in your best interests to have a lawyer. You need someone who knows the law and will look out for you. It costs nothing to hire an Illinois workers compensation law firm and they will do the talking for you so no mistakes get made. They will protect you throughout the process.
If you have any questions about this or would like to consult with an attorney for a free case review, you can contact us any time at 888-705-1766. We help everywhere in Illinois.