Workers Compensation Discrimination and What You Should Do
A Los Angeles workers compensation attorney explains that alarmingly discrimination against workers compensation claims are rife and as employers and their insurance carriers feel the pinch, then unfortunately legitimate workers comp claims are sometimes denied. When this happens, it is good to know that you shouldn't simply have to accept it. Instead there is something that you can do about it.
To all intent and purpose an insurance carrier does not have to honor every claim that comes into them. This is on the proviso that they can give a legitimate reason for the denial. However, insurers are under obligation to treat every single claim with the same level of fairness. Although many cases go through without a hitch, there are some instances whereby a person putting in a legitimate workers compensation claim will find themselves in the unfortunate position of having their claim turned down for no reason at all. This leaves the victim financially troubled as they will have to endure loss of wages whilst in recovery. On top of this the injured party would have to pay out of their own pocket for much needed, and probably costly, medical care. As well as financial issues, this type of problem can also be very stressful for the victim; therefore having a legitimate claim denied can have a knock on effect on the person, which could affect their ability to recover from their accident.
So why do insurers do this?
An LA workers comp attorney explains that in essence, insurance carriers are a business just like any other and similarly, they are working to make money and grow their business. For insurers, this means increasing profit by accumulating more customers all paying premiums, whilst at the same time paying out as little on claims as possible. Although this practice is not illegal and is in fact the way that most insurance companies operate, some companies take it too far. All it takes is for an oversight on the part of the loss adjuster or an unscrupulous insurance carrier who decides that they aren't going to payout no matter what, to cause real problems for the injured party. This is also known as 'insurance bad faith' as the insurance carrier is not fulfilling their part of the contract.
What other occasions could a legitimate workers compensation claim be denied?
Invariably before the claim gets to the insurance carrier it gets passed to the employer. They are then supposed to scrutinize the claim to make sure that all the relevant information has been filled in and once deemed correct they then send it on to the insurance carrier. In some cases a claim may never get to the carrier and some of the reasons for this are as follows:
Possible claim dispute
With any ongoing injury such as back ache or neck pain, the employer could be forgiven for thinking that this particular time, the cause of the accident may not have been through work activities, and therefore will be disputing the claim. When this happens there is some recourse, in that the claim can be reviewed by the workers compensation review board. From evidence presented they can decide to accept or deny the claim. A highly skilled Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer can decide to take on your case and represent you in front of the review board.
In the state of California every company who employs more than one person has to take out insurance to protect them against workers compensation. Any who do not are breaking the law and this is something an attorney can deal with on behalf of their client.
Using delay tactics
Another way that unscrupulous bosses can get around not paying out on insurance claims is by using delaying tactics. All claims have to be filed within a given time frame and by pretending that they have not received the claim, or that it has been filled in incorrectly, or by never passing it on to the insurance company, it could mean that the time limit has expired which would make the claim null and void.
So what should you do as an employee?
If you feel that you have been discriminated against and had a legitimate claim denied, then you need to contact an experienced Los Angeles workers compensation attorney. They will fight your corner to not only deliver a compensation package for your injuries to cover loss of wages and medical expenses, but they may also be able to file a claim for punitive damages to cover any emotional stress and trauma that this experience has caused. As a victim, you don't have to suffer in silence; instead a lawyer can help you receive what you are fully entitled to.