workers comp claimants protect themselvesIt is extremely important that you protect yourself from the insurance carrier and insurance carrier doctors when you file for workers’ compensation.  Once you report an injury to your employer, your employer should notify its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.  A representative from the insurance company, called an Adjuster, will contact you to get information from you regarding your injury.  Usually they will want to take a recorded statement.  This is when the Adjuster asks you questions regarding the injury and records your conversation over the phone.  You should not give a recorded statement without first consulting a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney at Abbott, Clay & Bedoy will go over your claim with you in detail prior to you speaking with an adjuster.

We will make sure you are fully prepared to answer questions regarding your injury and all other questions that Adjusters commonly asks when conducting a recorded statement.  The insurance carrier uses a recorded statement against an injured worker to catch them in a misstatement.

For example, if asked about your work incident and injuries and you do not mention every single body parts you injure or if you leave out a specific detail regarding how you injured yourself or a past injury you sustained, the carrier will use it against you in your claim to state you were not being truthful and trying to hide an important fact or lie about it.  This comes into play when you go before a Judge. If any part of the claim is being disputed and calls into question your credibility, any misstatement or error from your recorded statement will be used against you.

Further, the Adjuster will try to discuss with you options about choosing a doctor.  Many times adjusters will want to send you to their doctors that they know to perform a cursory examination; maybe perform an x-ray (which only evaluate broken bones not soft tissue, ligament, or spinal cord injuries, which are seen using a MRI) and try to return you back to work immediately without any additional testing or examinations.

Our firm will protect you and make sure you choose to treat with a doctor that has your best interest at heart and wants to help you with your injuries, not just send you back to work as soon as possible without providing the proper treatment to save the insurance carrier money.  The Adjuster will also try to assign a nurse case manager to handle your claim.  You should not let a nurse case manager choose a doctor for you or attend any appointments with you.

The nurse case manager is an employee of the insurance carrier who is hired to assist in getting you in and out of treatment as quickly as possible to end your case.  They try to push the doctors to release you back to work even if you are not capable or ready to go back. Our firm will communicate with the nurse case manager to get the necessary treatment approved by the carrier and limit communication between the nurse case manager and the doctor.

Finally, at the beginning of a claim you are mailed a medical release authorization from the insurance carrier to sign and return.  This authorization will allow the Carrier to get a copy of all of your medical records from any doctor you have ever treated with, not just for the current workers’ compensation injury.  You absolutely want to consult with an attorney at our firm prior to signing this or any other document to release information to the carrier.

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