This segment in the Cost Containment Strategies Blog Series will focus on the second initial investigation cost containment strategy – considerations for the Recorded Statement of the claimant.
A Recorded Statement provides a great tool to learn additional information about the claimant’s educational and work background; relevant pre-existing medical conditions; whether the claimant has asserted a prior workers’ compensation claim; and the claimant’s version of alleged accident/incident.
Please note that if the claimant is represented by counsel, the adjuster may not talk directly to the claimant without first securing permission from the claimant’s attorney.
In addition, the claims adjuster must advise the claimant that the Recorded Statement is being taken in part to determine whether the claim will be paid or denied. The adjuster should also ask the claimant whether the claimant is under the influence of any medications that might impact or impair his/her judgment. This is done to ensure that the claimant is in the proper state of mind free from the influence of any medications and to ensure the adjuster is receiving accurate information in response to the adjuster’s questions.
Pursuant to Rule 608 of the Workers’ Compensation Rules of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, defendants must furnish a copy of the statement to the claimant within 45 days after the claimant requests it. Even if the claimant does not request the Recorded Statement, if the defendants want to use it, the defendants must furnish a copy to the claimant no less than 45 days from the filing of the Form 33.
If defendants do not furnish a copy of the Recorded Statement to the claimant either within 45 days from the date the claimant requests it or within 45 days from the date the Form 33 is filed, the Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner may enter an Order preventing defendants from using the Recorded Statement.
Have the Recorded Statement transcribed right away to ensure timely production upon request or the filing of the Form 33.
Questions? Please contact Jennifer directly at (919) 863-8846 or firstname.lastname@example.org.