- Getting Your Recorded Statement into Evidence Under Rule 608
- April 6, 2018 | Author: Gregory S. Horner
- Law Firm: Goldberg Segalla LLP - Greensboro Office
Most adjusters handling North Carolina workers’ compensation matters take recorded statements as part of their claims investigation. For defense counsel, this is one of the most important documents used to defend denied claims. This post is a reminder of two technical requirements that must be met with regard to all recorded statements. If these requirements are not met, the statement can be excluded from evidence by the Industrial Commission. This can be catastrophic to the defense of the claim.
Recorded statements are governed by North Carolina Industrial Commission Rule 608. The rule states that the person taking the statement shall advise the employee that “the statement may be used to determine whether the claim will be paid or denied.” Additionally, the rule states that a copy of the statement shall be given to the employee within 45 days of either their request, or within 45 days of the filing of a hearing request (Form 33). In either event, the Rule gives the Industrial Commission the authority to exclude the statement from evidence if these requirements are not met.
Most adjusters use a script or list of questions in taking a recorded statement. It is strongly recommended that all adjusters add the language above to their scripts and advise the claimants accordingly. Additionally, in the event of a Form 33, or a request for the statement, commonly called a “Rule 608 request,” the statement should be provided immediately.