You just sustained a work-related injury. A day or two later the claims representative assigned to your file by the insurance company contacts you and wants to take a recorded statement. Do you have to provide one? The answer is no. There is no requirement under Minnesota law that an injured worker provide a recorded statement to an insurance company. In fact, depending upon how soon the statement is taken, it may not even be admissible in a court of law. Caution is thus urged in providing a recorded statement.
While the insurer does have the right to conduct an investigation about the new claim, much of the information sought can be secured through a simple conversation. As such, it is entirely appropriate for an injured worker to tell an insurer that while they don’t feel comfortable giving a recorded statement, they will answer all of the questions that the insurer has about the injury and prior treatment. This generally includes the following information:
- Some general background information about the injured worker;
- Brief description of the injured worker’s job and duties;
- Description of the work injury;
- Description of the medical treatment sought after the injury;
- Description of current symptoms and limitations; and
- Description of prior problems involving the same or similar body parts as affected by the work injury.
Failure to provide this information to the insurer – if requested – will raise a red flag and may very well lead to a denial of an otherwise valid claim. The obligation to provide this information, however, should not be confused with the insurer’s request to take a recorded statement. They are not the same. In dealing with the insurance company, the injured worker should remember it is not a level playing field. The claims representative adjusts claims for a living. The injured worker does not. Additional questions about what information needs to be provided to a workers’ compensation insurer and when can be addressed to a competent workers’ compensation attorney.