Should I Talk to the Insurance Company After a Work Injury?
Anytime a person sustains a workplace injury, they should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages if they cannot work while recovering. However, should you, after sustaining a workplace injury, communicate directly with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier? It is common advice to not speak to an insurance carrier directly after sustaining an injury, but workplace injuries are a little bit different.
Speaking With the Insurance Claims Adjuster
Workers’ compensation insurance is almost universally guaranteed if you work for an employer in North Carolina. This is a no-fault insurance, which means you will be able to recover compensation for an on-the-job injury regardless of who caused the incident. However, there are limitations. Most injured workers are unable to file lawsuits directly against an employer, even if the employer was negligent and caused the injury.
You are required to report any on-the-job injury to your employer or supervisor right away, and you should also fill out Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This form can be filled out and submitted electronically.
Once your workers’ compensation claim is filed, the insurance carrier is required to investigate the incident and determine whether or not to accept or deny the claim. The insurance carrier will review your medical records, and they will speak to your employer.
You will inevitably have to speak to an insurance claims adjuster with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance claims adjuster will call and ask for your permission to conduct an interview over the phone while they record the conversation. We caution you when moving forward while giving a recorded statement, and you may want to speak to an attorney prior to providing one.
Understanding the Insurance Carrier Position
No insurance carrier is on your side. These insurance carriers are looking for ways to limit how much money they pay out in compensation, which often means taking your statements and using them against you. That is why it is crucial that you are careful when you explain what happened to cause your injury. Yes, you should absolutely tell the truth, but there are instances where an insurance claims adjuster can take what you say and spin it their way.
It is important for you to stick to the facts of the injury. Do not alter your “story” about how the injury occurred, and if the insurance claims adjuster trash to insinuate that you were more responsible for the injury than you otherwise said, continue to stick with your story. Remember, you are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance regardless of who was at fault, barring certain circumstances (intoxication, fighting, injuries that occurred on an unpaid break, etc.).
Will You Need a Lawyer After a North Carolina Work Injury?
Even though most workers’ compensation claims are accepted, and individuals receive coverage for their medical bills and lost wages if they cannot work, there are times when work injury claims are denied by the insurance carrier or when the insurance carrier refuses to offer fair compensation.
If you have run into any roadblocks with your employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled lawyer immediately. Stop speaking to the insurance carrier if this occurs, and let your attorney take overall communication. A Raleigh personal injury lawyer can investigate the incident, gather evidence, and handle the entire work injury claim filing process. They will be the ones to communicate with the other party to try and obtain a fair settlement on your behalf.