We are frequently asked the question: “Can the insurance company take a recorded statement from me before benefits are paid in my work injury claim?” The answer is very simple, of course the insurance company representative may record your statement…IF YOU LET THEM! The Illinois Worker’s compensation Act requires that the injured worker notify the employer of the time, place and cause of the injury with in forty five days of the accident. There is NO requirement that a recorded statement be given by the injured worker to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Often, we hear our clients tell us they gave a recorded statement because they “have nothing to hide.” Frankly, that is not the point of our advice to refuse to submit to a recorded statement. The point of our advice is grounded in our belief that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation law is design to protect the injured worker and provide benefits for lost time, medical bills and a settlement for the permanent injury caused by the accident. Insurance companies exist to make a profit and making a profit is possible if the insurance company can limit the benefits paid to injured workers. This is an obvious conflict of interest between the motives of the insurance adjustor and the needs of the injured worker. A recorded statement can only benefit the insurance company. The injured worker has likely never given or taken a recorded statement and the insurance adjustor has a script designed to ask questions that severely limit the claim of the injured worker.
The fact is that in Illinois, it is ILLEGAL to record a person’s conversation without their consent. So, the injured worker’s inherent right is to NOT be recorded. Also, these recorded statements are taken at a time early in the claim when the full effects of the injury may not be known to the injured worker or the doctor! We advise that the injured worker comply with the law and provide information to the insurance company that enables the insurance company to investigate and defend the claim, but there is absolutely NO REASON to permit a recorded statement. If you have any questions about this subject or any other issue regarding your rights under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law, feel free to telephone us at 1-800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or visit us on the web at www.kfeej.com.