As I recommended in my recent post on insurance adjusters and no-fault insurance, I urge you to take caution when dealing with folks representing the other side in any accident case. Workers’ Comp. claimants are frequently approached by investigators for the insurance company.

We’ve had clients tell us that they’ve answered the door to find a fellow with his thumbs hitched in the straps of overalls and chewing on a piece of hay who announced that he was an investigator for the insurance company. This fellow said something to the effect that he didn’t understand why the insurance company was giving them such a hard time about their case and that he would love to sit down with a glass of lemonade and talk about it.

Now I will admit that is a SLIGHT exaggeration for the purpose of making a point with humor. My point is that the investigator is on the other side of a dispute about your wage and medical benefits and that you should not talk with him or her unless you are with your comp attorney. You should politely inform the investigator you are represented and that if they wish to interview you that they will have to arrange that with your attorney’s office. Provide with your attorney’s name and telephone number and then show them the door. Don’t be schmoozed into further conversation with the investigator.

The investigator may seem to be a nice person, and they may in fact be a nice person, but insurance companies frequently pay investigators to sit outside claimant’s homes in hopes of videotaping them working in their yard, shoveling snow or something contrary to their physical restrictions. The investigator who just came to your door to have a friendly talk about your case may have watched you all day.

An associate in my firm was recently talking with a new Workers’ Comp. client. That new client described a particular stage in a Workers’ Comp. case perfectly and wanted to know why he needed representation. This associate responded that anyone can sink a 3 foot putt on the last hole of the U.S. Open to win. The problem is getting to the last hole when there are a lot of variables in play.

A better analogy might be to this past Super Bowl. Anyone who watched the Super Bowl knows that Eli Manning’s 13 yard pass to Plaxico Burress for the game winning touchdown didn’t win the game for the Giants. Anyone could have made that pass. The win was the product of everything up to that point.

Don’t go it alone. Have a team on your side. Please come back for my next post on N.Y. Workers’ Comp. in which I will talk about time limits for providing notice of a work injury to your employer and filing a compensation claim.

Thanks for reading,

James B. Reed, Esq.
NY and PA Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff, Weiermiller, Hayden & Mustico, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529