Why honesty is the best policy when it comes to Workers’ Compensation claims

Host:

 

You know, we teach our kids every day to be honest. Well, this is also a lesson that adults need to remember, especially if you’re hurt on the job. Katherine Stone of injury Florida Law is here to discuss why honesty is the best policy in those workers compensation cases

 

Welcome Katherine, how are you?

 

Katherine:

 

Thank you, good to see you again.

 

Host:

 

So I’m assuming, being able to read that there, that you have – sometimes that might not be the situation.

 

Katherine:

 

No, and it’s not even if you don’t have a workers’ compensation claim yet. As you know. I like to share stories.

 

Host:

 

Yes.

 

Katherine:

 

And I have a very recent event, where I obtained some medical records that pre-existed the date of the accident.

 

Host:

 

Oh.

 

Katherine:

 

And there was completely different versions given as to how the injury sort of arose or developed, to the point that there was not much I could do with it.

 

And I had to explain, that the courts have interpreted it that you do not get the luxury of, basically, telling one doctor one thing, and another doctor another thing. Because they consider that fraud and misrepresentation, and those are very serious issues.

 

Especially not in any kind of litigation – in anything in life, really, but in litigation, especially, that can turn into insurance fraud, and you could be criminally charged for it. So it’s very, very important.

 

You know, we’ve also talked, too, about being honest with your attorney and letting them know, you know?

 

So that’s why, when I go through a detailed intake with a client, I point blank ask them, have you treated with any doctors in the past? Have you had these complaints in the past? Have you complained to anybody that there’s a record of with regards to what the new allegation is?

 

And so, you know, I just always try to remind people that, you know, you’re not going to be able to skirt the system.

 

And it makes our jobs very hard, because I don’t want to tell someone that I can’t help them.

 

Host:

 

I know.

 

Katherine:

 

And I want to be able to help everyone. So it’s just important, you know, when you fill out those intake questionnaires at doctor’s offices, even if it’s your primary care physician, you know, those can later be subpoenaed.

 

We can, you know – opposing counsel can go and issue a subpoena to that medical doctor and get all that information.

 

And a lot of times clients will say, well, why is that relevant? Well, it’s relevant.

 

The only time that there’s a sticking point, where they can’t just do that, is when we have mental health involved, or drug and alcohol and other some other illnesses, where you have to have a special release in order to be able to get that information.

 

But I always tell clients, your life is an open book when you pursue any kind of lawsuit.

 

And so it’s just always best to be particular, and be honest, when you’re answering any forms in a doctor’s office, or answering any questions to a doctor. Because, believe it or not, it can come back to either help you or hurt you.

 

Host:

 

I don’t think we’ve ever really dove into this before with your segments about how important it is to be honest and I think people probably think that maybe they want to give an answer that you as an attorney wants to hear, but that’s the worst thing people can do.

 

Katherine:

 

Exactly, and there’s no explaining it away. There’s no explaining how you tell one doctor one thing, and another doctor another thing, and then testify in a deposition about something completely different.

 

There’s just – there’s hardly any way to get around that.

 

Host:

 

The truth will always come out.

 

Katherine:

 

And, you know, the truth is the truth. It’s not a nice topic to talk about, but it is something that I feel, you know, people need to know, even – I’ve had clients in the past that, they’ll come to me later and say, well, you know, my work comp doctor, I didn’t tell them about, you know, my auto accident three years ago.

 

Okay, well, why, why not? Was the question asked?

 

You know, and that always, like, gets me nervous when that happens.

 

Host:

 

Well, and just to be able to say, like you just said, with any type of litigation, your life becomes an open book.

 

Katherine:

 

Your life becomes an open book. Your bank accounts, your medical history, you know, your prior marriages, your children’s names, I mean, everything. You are an open book.

 

I also have that conversation with a client, preparing them for their deposition. Explaining the process and going in detail over what topics can be covered. And the client was just like, really? all of this? They’re going to ask me all of this? Yes.

 

Host:

 

I feel like we’ve had a good moral conversation.

 

Katherine:

 

Yes.

 

Host:

 

Well thank you so much.

 

If you’ve got questions, I know Katherine can definitely help you out. There’s the information on your screen, her website, her phone number. Again, we really appreciate you joining us today.

 

On screen:

 

INJURY FLORIDA LAW FIRM, P.A.

Call Toll Free or Text

1-833-LAW-STONE

Injuryfloridalawfirm.com