How Do You Deal with a Workers Comp Adjuster?
Workers who get hurt at work need to seek immediate medical attention and claim the benefits that they need to compensate for the losses that they’ve suffered.
During the claims process, the worker will be dealing with a workers’ comp adjuster who’ll coordinate and facilitate the case.
The adjuster will gather details about the accident and the extent of the injury. They’ll contact the worker, periodically check in on their recovery, and appear very helpful. However, no injured worker should take the adjuster’s job lightly.
They may seem like they’re on the worker’s side, but their sole responsibility is to save the employer and the insurance company money.
If you’ve been injured on the job in Virginia, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help.
Workers’ Comp Adjuster Tricks
Workers’ comp adjusters employ certain tricks and strategies to help them investigate, negotiate, and settle claims.
While most of these strategies are legally permissible, they can significantly weaken a claim and leave an injured worker with less compensation than they were originally entitled to.
Here are some of these common tricks and strategies:
- Ask the worker to give a signed statement immediately after the accident: They’ll try to get the worker to admit to details that may be later used against them. They may even use the statement to assess whether the worker is financially struggling and willing to accept a low ball offer.
- Ask the worker to sign a medical authorization form: This form will allow the adjuster to gain access to the worker’s entire medical history and records, including any previous injuries and pre-existing conditions.
- Claim that hiring a lawyer will slow down the process: The adjuster may try to prevent the worker from hiring a lawyer. In most cases involving personal and work-related injury, employees who are represented by lawyers tend to recover nearly three times as much money as unrepresented employees.
- Make a quick settlement offer: To minimize their expenses, an adjuster may try to offer the worker a smaller settlement to get them to accept it before a lawyer has the chance to look at the terms. It’s best to discuss any settlement offer with an attorney first to avoid getting taken advantage of.
- Delay payments: Adjusters know that many workers depend on disability or injury payments, especially when they’re unable to work for the time being. They may try to delay payments to force the worker to accept a low settlement offer because they’re desperately strapped for cash.
What Should I Not Say to my Workers’ Comp Adjuster?
The conversation with a workers’ comp adjuster is a crucial part of the claims process.
Workers’ comp adjusters will take detailed notes of their discussions with the injured worker, and any omissions or errors may be used by the adjuster to diminish the value of the claim or deny the latter of the benefits they’re rightfully entitled to.
Here are some things to avoid saying to a workers’ comp adjuster:
- Decline any request to have the conversation recorded, as this may be used to contradict statements that the worker may make later on.
- Avoid deviating from the details surrounding the accident. The adjuster may try to use sympathetic questions or harmless banter to get the worker’s guard down.
- Avoid omitting any critical information about the extent of the injuries. For example, even if the worker is only experiencing mild pain in their neck or back, they should still include this in the description they provide to the adjuster.
- Avoid entertaining or answering any questions about the worker’s family or financial situation.
Call a Virginia Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you were injured on the job, the benefits you’ll receive may prove to be a much-needed lifeline during this difficult time. This is why you should never take the claims process for granted.
When dealing with a workers’ comp adjuster, it’s best to have a lawyer by your side who’s well-versed with their tricks and tactics.
Our team at Slominski Law has represented countless injured workers throughout the state. We can help make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online or call (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke).