As with any insurance claim, a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts will initiate an investigation by a claims adjuster. The claims handler will want to know the severity of your injuries, your medical history, and your ability to return to work. The investigation will take place through a legal process called discovery. The discovery process will involve your medical records, your application with the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and, more likely than not, a recorded statement. It is important that these records are complete, accurate, and honest. Failure to submit requested information could lead to an unnecessary denial of your claim. While you cannot prepare your medical records or get creative with your application documents, you can and should be prepared for your recorded statement. Here are some tips to help you through the process.
Understand the Statement’s Purpose
It is best to go into any legal situation with an understanding of why the process exists. This will help you strategize and answer each question fully and fairly. Even more importantly, this understanding will help you to highlight the important information without getting caught up in superfluous details. The purpose of a claims handler taking a recorded statement is to consolidate the most important information about your claim into one statement, which you must give under oath. Your statement can be used against you in order to contradict past or future statements.
Answer What is Asked
It is easy to try to offer more information than is actually asked of you. The key is to answer questions that are being asked. If the insurance company needs more information from you in the way of details, they will ask additional questions. “Yes,” “no,” and “I don’t know” are often the most full and fair answers you can offer; so don’t be afraid to be short. Trying to guess will not help your case. If you don’t understand exactly what you are being asked, do not be afraid to say so. It is more important that your answers are honest than it is that you know every imaginable detail about your claim.
Consult with an Attorney
Remember that the folks who handle your workers’ compensation claims work for for-profit insurance companies. They often come across applicants who attempt to seek compensation to which they are not entitled. This means that they are likely to approach each case with heightened levels of suspicion. They are trained to ask questions that might be tricky in order to expose those who are not entitled to compensation.
Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will allow you to understand these questions and avoid getting caught up in the language. Claims handlers are not there to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation. They understand the system and seek to protect the companies that employ them.
If you do not understand the system, you may be unfairly denied compensation. At our firm, we are committed to helping you obtain the legal compensation you are entitled to. Contact Peter Ventura today at 508-755-7535.