The Women's Journal

What Is A “Recorded Statement”?

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pip nc jas17 Heather A. Long

By Heather A. Long, Esquire

Picture this: you are injured at work and report the injury right away to your manager (everyone reading this already knows to do so, right?). You are hurt, scared and upset about being injured and worried about who is going to pay for your medical bills and wages. Before you even get to see a doctor, someone from the insurance company calls you and wants to take a recorded statement. You have no idea what this means, but want to go see a doctor and this seems like an obstacle you need to get past before you can get medical attention. So, you agree to give the recorded statement so that you can pass this part of reporting your claim and get on with your treatment. Your thoughts are racing, and the insurance company adjuster says they are going to tape record a conversation with you and review the details of your injury. Something about this just feels wrong…. but you don’t know what else to do. The insurance company adjuster turns on their tape recorder and starts asking you questions. You are distracted, in pain and your answers are rambling and disjointed. You finish answering the questions as best you can and then head out to see a doctor. A month later, you receive a letter from the insurance company denying your claim – and the doctor bill – based on something you said in your recorded statement.  

Unfortunately, this type of thing happens more often than it should; so, what can be done about it? The first thing you should do after a work injury is report the injury to your manager and then seek treatment. However, if your injuries are emergent, you should get treatment first and then report the injury to your boss after you’ve received medical attention. Once the injury is reported to your manager, they will (hopefully) report the injury to their insurance company. The insurance company will then take over and begin their investigation. This investigation will likely include asking you to give a tape-recorded interview (called a “recorded statement”), as well as tape-recorded interviews of your co-workers and manager, and a review of any surveillance video. Technically, you do not have to agree to the recorded statement, but the insurance company may deny your claim until you do.  

In the end, giving a recorded statement may be something you decide to do but it should be carefully considered and controlled. This is not something you want to take lightly because the recording will literally hang around forever. Before agreeing to this, you should consult an attorney to explain all of your rights. With that attorney’s assistance, you can determine if the recorded statement will be in your best interest. If it is, then you will want to schedule this for a time that the attorney can listen and object to any improper questions. You should schedule this for a time that you are able to calmly, concisely and accurately answer their questions without being distracted by pain, your injury, or other responsibilities. Ideally, you will want to review your initial medical records, statements by co-workers and surveillance before giving this statement.  

DO NOT RUSH INTO THIS! Once the recorded statement has been given, it cannot be changed. It is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Consultation with an attorney skilled in workers’ compensation claims will help you understand how this process works and can give you advice as to whether this is something you should do or if you should avoid it. It is never too early to reach out to an attorney for a consultation when you’re involved in a work injury.

Consultation with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation is highly beneficial and will give you insight into the recorded statement process. Each attorney at the law offices of Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz and O’Neill offers free consultations in both our Newark and Wilmington locations. This insight could be invaluable to your future health and benefits. 

Heather has been an attorney for over ten years, and is currently practicing Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law as a partner at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill, P.A. with offices in Newark and Wilmington. Heather worked her way through law school as a paralegal in a personal injury firm. After passing the bar exam, she spent several years working as a defense attorney, representing local, regional and national companies. With the knowledge gained about the inner-workings of these companies, she now represents injured workers and personal injury plaintiffs.  

Heather is a graduate of Widener University School of Law, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to attending law school, she was licensed as a paramedic and spent time volunteering for her local ambulance corps. She is also a former mock trial coach for Friends and Salesianum and current coach for Newark High School.

Heather is licensed to practice law in Delaware, Pennsylvania and         New Jersey.

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, please call (302) 565-6132
or email her directly at  
[email protected]