Most Georgia employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee is injured on the job, the insurance company has an obligation to pay for the injured employee’s benefits, including medical bills, wage replacement and vocational rehabilitation.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Their top priority is their financial bottom line. This can put considerable pressure on everyone in the insurance company to minimize the amount of money that is distributed to injured workers. Delays in making payments also can help the insurance company’s profitability.
Workers’ compensation insurance company dirty tricks
Profit motives can lead to questionable, unethical decisions at every level of the company. This can include insurance adjusters engaging in very dubious, harmful tactics. Here are examples of what you might experience if you don’t have a lawyer to represent you:
- Failure to communicate with the injured worker – not responding to phone calls, emails, letters
- Rude behavior, including bullying
- Use of recorded statements to intimidate the injured worker
- Use of a “blank” medical records release, which gives the insurance company access to all your medical information
- Calculating your average weekly wage incorrectly
- Choosing the doctor for you
- Trying to convince doctor to release you from the hospital or clinic before it is medically advised
- Trying to convince the doctor to say you are not injured
- Failure to send checks to injured workers in a timely manner
- Refusal to approve medical treatment
- Forcing you to see their doctor multiple times for an independent medical exam. The independent medical exam can have a huge impact on the benefits you receive.
- Using a nurse case manager to manipulate your case and manipulate the medical providers. (The insurance companies hire nurse case managers to oversee the injured workers’ medical care.)
- Threatening to close your claim
- Hiring a private investigator to follow and/or film you
- Manipulating the employer into offering a fake job
These disturbing insurance company tactics can have devastating negative effects on the injured employee’s physical and mental health. The financial burden also can be significant.
What can I do to fight back?
The insurance company’s tactics won’t be successful if a seasoned attorney is communicating on your behalf and guiding you through the claim. If you were injured on the job and you are concerned about how you are being treated, it is important to protect yourself by contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.