If you are injured while on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Illinois law requires most employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, which means your claim will most likely be processed by an insurance company. In many cases, you are able to get what you are owed without any problems, but often, your claim may be denied or unfairly reduced.
Tactics Used By Insurance Companies
The motive of an insurance company, like any other business, is to turn a profit. One way to maximize profits is, unfortunately, to minimize costs. This means paying out as little as possible to claimants for their injuries. Some of the ways your employer’s insurance company may try to decrease the amount they are obligated to pay to include the following:
- Delaying tactics, which put pressure on you to settle for a smaller amount in order to pay your medical bills
- Minimizing the seriousness of your injury, sometimes through an independent medical examination, sitting in on doctor visits, or requiring the use of one of their doctors
- Stating your claim wasn’t filed on time
- Claiming the injury wasn’t sustained in the course of fulfilling employment-related duties
In order to combat these tactics, you need to be aware of your rights, accumulate adequate evidence to support your claim, and rely on solid legal representation.
Knowing Your Rights
First off, an insurance company may try to enforce certain requirements, such as asking you to sign a medical release form or requesting a recorded statement. If you are meeting with a physician regularly in order to recover from your injury, they might ask you to sit in on those visits.
Often, they will make it seem like these things are required, but they are not. Before signing or agreeing to anything, you’ll want to make sure you have received the medical treatment you need and retained good legal representation.
Accumulating Proper Evidence
Solid evidence should show that your injury was sustained in the course of fulfilling job-related duties and was significant enough to require medical treatment, time off work, disability benefits, and so forth. This evidence may include:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Your report to your employer
- Your doctor’s assessment of your injury
- Photographic evidence of the accident, contributing hazards, your injury, and so forth
This type of evidence will solidify your claim and make it less likely that the insurance company will be able to minimize your claim.
If the insurance company is dragging its feet, you need to keep on top of them. Persistence is key here. It may be frustrating, but consistently asking the adjuster about the status of your claim can help prevent delaying tactics and get your claim processed sooner.
Additionally, you will want some legal clout. A workers’ compensation attorney will be familiar with how these companies operate and be able to call them out on unfair tactics. Furthermore, your attorney will lend credibility to your case and place further pressure on them to process your claim. If you are in need of legal assistance in a workers’ compensation case, contact our attorneys at Hart David Carson LLP. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better the process will go for you, so contact us today.