Why Is Workers’ Comp So Hard to Deal With?
If an injury occurs while performing your job duties, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ comp insurance. This covers your wages, medical bills, and other expenses related to your injury. However, people often report that dealing with workers’ compensation insurance companies can be a nightmare. There are several reasons why workers’ compensation companies require so much documentation and information.
Employees Who Don’t File Claims Quickly
It is critical that you file your workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after the injury occurs. If you delay filing the claim, it may be more difficult to collect from the workers’ compensation insurer. There may even be questions about whether you actually obtained the injury at work. Additionally they will want to know why you delayed telling anyone about the injury.
Workers’ Compensation Is Insurance
Workers’ comp is insurance, and it has requirements like every other insurance company. Some employers use a self-insurance method of workers’ compensation. Usually this means you deal with someone in your company’s human resources department with your bills being paid directly by your company.
However, most companies pay a workers’ compensation premium to an outside company. This means you could be dealing with different entities during your claim. One company may handle your wages, another your medical treatment, and a third might oversee the entire claim.
The Insurance Company Works for Your Employer
Remember that the insurance company works for your employer, not for you. They want to keep claims as low as possible and pay as little as they can. This could include denying your claim. The denial could be because they don’t believe you were injured at work or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
One of the most common methods workers’ compensation companies use to make things difficult is claiming constant processing delays. You can also expect the insurance company to investigate workers’ compensation fraud before they agree to pay a claim, to ensure you really are injured.
Insurers may hire an investigator to confirm that you are actually injured and that the injury occurred on the job. Investigations increase the approval time for the claim. Sometimes the delay is a simple mistake, such as a clerical error or a filing issue. Delays can also occur if you forget to turn in required paperwork.
Constantly Changing Laws
Workers’ comp laws change constantly. Therefore, it can be difficult for the company to track what needs to be done. As laws change, the company must make adjustments to many facets of a claim, from the application process to the confirmation that you are eligible for compensation.
There always the possibility that the workers’ compensation company is making things difficult so you will agree to settle for less than you are eligible to receive. Accepting the first offer can be tempting if you have been out of work for some time due to the injury. Especially if you need to get your finances in order.
It is critical that you don’t accept the first offer from the workers’ compensation company. Insurance companies use various calculations to determine your pay and it could be significantly lower than it should be. A skilled attorney can get more benefits out of a workers’ compensation claim than you can on your own.
If your claim is denied, you can appeal. However, you may want to hire a lawyer to guide you through this process. An attorney understands this area of the law and knows the tricks workers’ comp insurers will use to deny your claim.