July 13, 2017, Pacific Workers' Compensation - Oakland, California
So often clients -- and more often, potential clients -- tell us that they really like their employer and they don't want to sue them for a workers' compensation claim. We get it… it's hard to find a good employer, someone who cares about you. However, here's the issue… how your workers' comp claim is handled has almost nothing to do with your employer -- the defense, the decisions, the treatment you receive is almost always controlled by the insurance company and its insurance adjusters, not your employer.
In fact, almost every contract for insurance, by their terms, takes the control away from the insured -- in workers' comp cases, the employer -- and forces the employer to let go of all decisions and put them in the hands of the Insurance company.
The insurance companies then give the cases to their adjusters, who make their bonuses by saving the insurance company money -- AKA denying you benefits. It's just not right, but that's why there are lawyers. We're here to make it right.
So, even though a Workers' Compensation case might name the employer on the documents, they are barely involved in the case at all. In fact, the documents even name the insurance company as a defendant in the case. It's the only area of law I know of where the insurance company is actually named as a defendant -- because the case is far more about the insurance company than it is about your employer.
The whole idea of filing a comp claim can be difficult for someone who really likes their employer. It's tough to explain to them that it's really not about the employer but the insurance company. Remember, a good employer has Workers' Compensation insurance for this very reason -- in case you're injured on the job -- so you can get taken care of.
So how do you know when it's time to get a lawyer? We like to run through a series of quick questions to help potential clients decide:
- Was your claim denied?
- Have they sent you to a cut-rate treating doctor?
- Are you having trouble getting proper medical care?
- Are there issues getting your TTD payments, getting the correct amount or getting them on time?
- Have they sent you back to work or light duty before you have healed enough?
- Are they denying treatment?
- Have they made a lowball offer?
- Was the QME Report full of issues?
If you answered yes to any of these, it's probably time to get a lawyer on your side. It's not about your employer - it's about you and your family!