Workers' compensation insurance was created to benefit both the employer and the hurt worker. If a work-related injury meets the requirements, the hurt worker should be provided with benefits like medical expenses, a partial disability payment each week, and a lump-sum settlement if an injury is permanent. However, some workers encounter issues with their claims, so they need to be watchful after being injured. Read on to find out about a few problem areas that might signal the need to speak to a workers' compensation lawyer for more help.
Your employer is uncooperative – Unfortunately, many employers are not well educated about workers' rights regarding an injury. That means they can try to claim you were not at work when the injury occurred, that you are exaggerating your injuries, and they might even try to fire you for filing a claim.
You are being asked to participate in an independent medical examination (IME) – This type of exam may be called for when the insurer ostensibly needs more information about your injury. It involves the worker undergoing a medical exam by a doctor of the insurer's choosing. Even though the name of the exam contains the word independent, it's not independent because the doctor works for the workers' comp insurer. The results of this exam could mean your benefits will be cut off and you will be ordered to return to work.
You are being checked on regularly – It could be just that your employer cares about your health but often it means something else. Your employer has a stake in getting you back to work soon for several reasons. Your absence could be creating a backlog of work, for example. Also, the longer you are out of work, the more likely it is that your injury is severe enough to be ruled permanent. Finally, your employer will likely face an increase in insurance premiums based on the severity of your injury. All of that can result in constant phone calls and even visits from your employer while you are home recuperating. You may be questioned about your absence if you are not at home when they call even if you were at a doctor's appointment or picking up medication at the drug store. On a related issue, some worker's comp insurers also try to catch hurt workers going about their day (in public) to see if they are in better medical condition than they say.
Any one of the above problems are signs you need to speak to a workers' compensation lawyer about your claim before they stop your benefits for an unfair reason. Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer for more help.