One of the biggest mistakes an injured worker can make is giving a recorded statement to the company right after their injury happens. Oftentimes the worker is in a lot of pain and not always thinking clearly about the accident or the potential liability involved in their accident. There are several common problems with giving a recorded statement when you haven’t had the chance to fully think about the accident.
Many times companies will try to get a recorded statement immediately after the accident. When the statement is taken, they’ll ask detailed questions concerning the accident, which may include
This is a problem because many employees have not had time to think through the accident and typically will answer very quickly that the company was not at fault for the accident (and they just want to get medical treatment and get back to work). Often the worker believes that the injury may be insignificant and believes that they will keep their job with the company. Sometimes the worker is taking medication when they provide the recorded statement and they simply do not understand or listen carefully to the questions.
The reasons a company might want a statement after your injury are many:
In a recorded statement, you may not have time to think about your accident and can risk giving fast answers that don’t take into consideration the full events of what transpired. Your employer or your employer’s insurance provider may attempt to convince you that a recorded statement can help your case, but nothing could be further from the truth:
Despite the pressure you may be feeling from your company, you are not legally obligated to provide a recorded statement immediately after your injury and doing so may, in fact, hurt you in the long run.
Risks of giving a recorded statement include:
An employee is not required to give a recorded statement under the Jones Act. Here are 4 common myths regarding your “requirement” to give a recorded statement:
All of these reasons are simply not true and are nothing more than scare tactics. In general, it is always best to refuse to give a recorded statement following your accident. You may simply inform the company very politely that you either have completed a written report or will complete a written report concerning the accident at which time you can carefully provide answers to any necessary questions. If your company insists that you provide a recorded statement, your company is protecting itself, not you.
Here are some general points to keep in mind.
You’re going to want to give yourself every advantage possible when filing an offshore injury claim – and a recorded statement may not be in your best interest. Under the Jones Act Law, you don’t have to provide anyone with a recorded statement unless you choose to do so.
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