Workplace Accident Attorney: 5 Things Not to Talk About
Between medical bills, the inability to work, and losing out on income, getting hurt on the job can be frustrating, but these frustrations are usually alleviated by workers’ compensation, which will cover your medical bills and provide income while your body heals. However, workers’ compensation is only available if you proceed cautiously; according to San Antonio workplace accident attorney Pat Maloney, one slip-up in a conversation with your employer or their insurance company could cost you some, or even all of your benefits. Ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries by avoiding the following topics when talking to your employer or their insurance company about your workplace accident:
- Settling – Never accept a settlement without first consulting an attorney. In most cases, insurance companies are going to offer you as little as money as possible and hope that you’ll accept it, so always run a settlement offer by a qualified workplace accident attorney before agreeing to it. They’ll look it over, ensure it’s an adequate amount to cover your medical bills and damages, and then advise you on the appropriate action to take. If the offer isn’t enough, they’ll help you negotiate or take the employer to court if necessary.
- Recorded statements – Representatives from your employer’s insurance company are likely going to contact you immediately after your accident occurs and say that they need a recorded statement, but this may be a trick. They call quickly after an accident to try and catch you off-guard, hoping that you will admit to some level of fault in the incident so that they don’t have to pay as much out on the claim as they should. Never agree to give a recorded statement before you’ve spoken to a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to properly prepare you so you don’t implicate yourself in any way.
- Signing documents – Never sign anything without talking to a lawyer first. Once you sign something, all negotiations stop. You’ve agreed to whatever terms they’ve offered you, and there’s no going back. If you want to ensure that you get the best possible deal, always show proposed contracts and documents to an attorney before signing them.
- Returning to work – You should never return to work just because a doctor says you “should” be able to. If you’re seeing a doctor recommended by your employer or their insurance company, they may be getting some sort of kickback for telling you that, so don’t return to work until you are fully recovered – it’s your right. If your doctor or employer tries to tell you otherwise, speak to your workplace accident attorney immediately.
- “I’m sorry” – Never say “I’m sorry,” “my bad,” “I accidentally did ___,” or anything that could implicate you in the accident. Such phrases admit at least partial blame, and mean that your employer or their insurance company won’t have to pay out as much. Stick to the facts and keep things short and succinct when talking to any parties involved in your claim.
Additionally, you should never talk about your injury, your injury claim, or the accident itself with anyone who doesn’t need to be involved. That includes friends, family, and your social media connections. Posting to social media about workplace accidents can implicate you in the accident, negatively impact the amount of compensation you can earn, and even get you fired.