“What do I say when an investigator contacts me to investigate my workers’ compensation claim?” You may be surprised how many times our Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney has heard this question.
And it is a good thing that people ask this question, as speaking to an investigator without having a clear plan and/or having little to no knowledge about the questions these investigators ask may ruin your workers’ comp claim and result in denial of coverage.
Under California workers’ comp laws, claims administrators who handle workers’ compensation claims have a duty to investigate claims in order to accept or deny coverage within 90 days after the date the claim has been received. While some claims administrators investigate workers’ comp claims on their own, others choose to hire an investigator.
Generally, if an insurance company that handles workers’ compensation claims cannot get enough assistance from the employer either because he/she refuses to cooperate or he/she is out of business at the time of the investigation, the claims administrator may hire an investigator.
Insurance companies hire investigators to gather more information and evidence about a particular case in order to establish the validity of the workers’ compensation claim. These investigators can be private or internal investigators, and many of them are retired police officers or law enforcement personnel. And you know what it means: these guys can be tough nuts to crack, and they always seem to get to the bottom of any case at hand.
One of the responsibilities of investigators is to contact the injured employee and take his or her statement. And that is where many injured workers make mistakes, says our workers’ compensation attorney in Los Angeles at The Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, A Professional Corporation.
When you have been injured in the workplace and are following your doctor’s orders to recover and get back on your feet, speaking to an overly suspicious person working in the best interests of the insurance company may seem like the last thing you would want to do.
And while there is no obligation to speak to an investigator who contacted you after you filed a workers’ compensation claim, refusing to answer an investigator’s questions or ignoring his/her attempts to reach out may give the claims administrators a reason for denying your claim.
Speaking to an investigator without being 100 percent prepared for the question you might be asked can be just as bad, as investigators tend to ask a plethora of questions that guide you into telling them exactly what they want to hear (in a workers’ compensation case, they want you to give a conflicting statement that would not be in line with what you wrote in your workers’ comp claim or they want you to answer in a way that would give the claims administrator the basis for denying your claim).
These guys know what they are doing, and they are trained to do their job in the best interests of the insurance company. That is why you should never – I repeat, never – speak to an investigator without consulting with an Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney first.
You would not want to compromise your workers’ comp claim, would you? Get a free consultation about your particular case by contacting The Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, A Professional Corporation. Call our offices at 818-609-7005 or complete this contact form.