When The Workers' Compensation Insurer Slows Things Down

Posted on: 28 August 2023

Workers' compensation insurers may sometimes use delay tactics when a claim is submitted to minimize their financial liability. These tactics can be frustrating for injured workers who are already dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of their injuries. Here are some common delay tactics and ways a workers' compensation lawyer can help:

Delay Tactics Used by Workers' Comp Insurers:

  1. Requesting Additional Information: Insurers might ask for unnecessary or excessive documentation, hoping that the injured worker will become overwhelmed or discouraged by the paperwork process.
  2. Requiring Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs): Insurers may request an IME with a doctor of their choice. This can lead to delays in treatment and benefits if the insurer disputes the severity of the injury.
  3. Investigations: Insurers might conduct prolonged investigations into the circumstances of the injury, attempting to find reasons to deny the claim or reduce benefits.
  4. Changing Adjusters: Some insurers rotate adjusters, causing delays as the new adjuster becomes familiar with the case.
  5. Denial of Initial Claim: Insurers may initially deny the claim, forcing the injured worker to go through the appeals process, which takes time.
  6. Offering Low Settlements: Insurers might offer low settlement amounts, hoping that the injured worker will accept to avoid the lengthy appeals process.

How a Workers' Comp Lawyer Can Help:

  1. Lawyers can communicate directly with the insurer, addressing delays and requesting prompt responses. They can also ensure all required documentation is provided promptly.
  2. Lawyers understand the legal requirements and procedures involved in workers' compensation claims. This knowledge helps ensure that the insurer's delay tactics are identified and addressed effectively.
  3. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can push back against low settlement offers and advocate for fair compensation. They have experience in valuing claims and presenting evidence to support the injured worker's case.
  4. If the insurer denies the claim or benefits are wrongfully delayed, a lawyer can assist in filing appeals, ensuring all necessary documentation and evidence are included.
  5. Lawyers often work with medical experts who can provide opinions about the extent of the injuries, treatment needs, and the impact on the worker's ability to return to work. This expert testimony can counter the insurer's delay tactics.
  6. Insurers might attempt to intimidate injured workers into accepting unfavorable outcomes. A lawyer acts as a buffer, protecting the worker's rights and ensuring they are treated fairly.
  7. Lawyers handle the paperwork involved in the workers' compensation process, ensuring that all required documents are submitted correctly and on time.

For more info, contact a local workers' compensation attorney