Once you get hurt on the job, a host of people may be calling you trying to get information from you regarding your work injury. It is important to distinguish what their motives are for calling.
- First, if a lawyer is calling you before you are soliciting a call from them, this is improper. Be very careful of these unprofessional lawyers as they may be the proverbial “ambulance chasers” you don’t want representing you.
- Second, the workers’ compensation insurance adjuster may call you to gather some information about the work accident. It is important to know that the adjuster’s role is to limit as much liability as he or she can for the insurer. In other words, his or her loyalty runs to the insurance company, not you. Therefore, be careful. If you speak to the adjuster, write down his or her name and take good notes of your conversation. Also, be careful about what they are asking you to sign. They are experts in workers’ comp law and they will try to get the advantage over you if they can.
Additionally, this person may request to record your conversation. I usually instruct my clients against this recording as it is often only used against the injured worker later in the case.
In some cases, the workers’ comp insurance company will have a number of adjusters calling the injured worker. One may be a “lost time” adjuster who handles cases where the injured employee is missing time from work. Another may be a “medical only” adjuster who handles claims where the injured worker is not currently missing time from work, but is requiring ongoing medical care. Remember, all of these insurance folks are working for the work comp insurer’s benefit, not yours.
- Third, the workmans compensation insurance company may have a “nurse case manager” contact you and even attempt to attend your medical appointments with you. Again, these nurses work for the insurance company hired with the aim to “manage” your medical care in the interest of the insurance company. Also, the nurse case managers often times attempt to influence your doctor’s assessments. With my clients, I often do not allow nurse case managers to be involved except in certain catastrophic cases where the law mandates their involvement. See my prior medical blog which talks about nurse case managers as well.
- Lastly, your Supervisor or HR representative may attempt to contact you for information. As a basic tenant, these folks are also attempting to limit the company’s liability. Be very careful as to what you say and make sure you take great notes.
In the event that you hire an attorney to represent you in a workers’ comp claim, these folks will lose the right to contact you directly regarding the workers’ comp claim and must go through your attorney. This is preferable as your lawyer should be looking out for your best interest and should be well versed in the applicable work comp laws.
It is important to always be truthful and consistent.
Many workers’ comp claims will be denied or litigated if the insurance adjuster determines the injured worker is not truthful or finds inconsistencies with the injured employee’s rendition of facts.
Ramos & Law is an Atlanta-based firm who specializes only in workers’ comp, unlike a lot of big law firms.
If you’ve been injured at work in Georgia and need help sorting out the laws, contact us today for a free consultation, (404) 355-3431.