If I am injured on the job, do I have to provide a written or recorded statement to the worker’s compensation insurance carrier?
There is no obligation under Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Act requiring an injured worker to provide a written or recorded statement to the worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Insurance adjusters are well trained to elicit seemingly harmless, but actually very damaging information. For example, the insurance adjuster may ask questions regarding sports that you play or hobbies that you engage in. They may then turn around and blame your injury or condition on that and not on the work incident or work exposure.
Another example would be if the claims adjuster attempts to elicit a detailed description of the mechanics of the injury. This may then be used to show that the employee was not performing any unusual exertion or movement at the time he developed pain. The insurance adjuster will then use that information to take the position that the injury was just an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. If the statement is written or recorded, it can haunt you throughout your claim. In routine traumatic injury cases, there is no reason to give a statement. Don’t give one.
In more complicated cases, for example a repetitive trauma disorder, the insurance carrier may need to conduct some investigation. In these cases, you may agree to discuss the case informally. However, do not sign a written statement and do not allow your statement to be recorded.