Time after time injured workers feel that they can handle their worker’s comp claim because they are being assisted by their adjusters, however don’t be fooled! The adjuster on a worker’s comp claim does not work for you. They work for your employer’s insurance company. Only.
Adjusters are not your friends. They are your foes. Adjusters are not taking into account your best interests instead their job is to minimize liability and keep costs low.
Many times injured workers believe that simply because they are receiving treatment and benefits there are no problems in their case but the majority of the time they are wrong. Just because you are receiving treatment does not mean that the adjuster has accepted all diagnosis your doctor has found to be part of your injury. If you look at the letters you receive from your adjuster you will see that the diagnosis that is universally accepted is a sprain/strain. No matter what body part you injured or how severely you injured it, adjusters always label the injury as a sprain/strain.
You may think to yourself, so what if they did, what difference does that make? Well it makes a world of difference. A sprain/strain is basically a bruise. So if your adjuster has only accepted a bruise that means you should only be receiving treatment and benefits for only 4-6 weeks. Do not let your adjuster close out your case before it’s ready. Again, simply because treatment, whether surgery, physical therapy, or prescription medications are being approved does not mean that your injury is being accepted in its entirety.
Not only will your adjuster try to limit your injury but they may also send nurses to your appointment to intimidate your doctors. Adjusters will claim that the nurse is there to help the doctor get a treatment plan or help with your medical care but the nurse is their spy. The nurse will always go in with you to your appointment and give her two cents regarding the treatment your doctor is recommending.
Many times she will try to tell the doctor to release you to light duty even if you are not ready to return to work. Other times she will suggest an alternative treatment and claim that it would be better for you overall should he chose her proposed treatment when in reality the treatment may just be cheaper than what the doctor proposed. Your adjuster should not be part of your doctor’s health decisions for you, he should be free to make his treatment plan as he sees fit and not be bullied into doing something else.
Finally another way adjusters try to minimize a worker’s comp injury is by requesting an injured worker sign a medical records release. As an injured worker you may think, well I have nothing to hide so why not sign the release? Well adjusters use these releases to obtain all medical records, sometimes even dating back 20 or 30 years.
If any one of those medical records shows any type of accident, injury, or anything that could remotely be linked to your current complaints the adjuster will use those medical records to try and say your injury was pre-existing. So now an injured worker is faced with not receiving medical treatment or benefits because back in high school he was in a fender bender that required no medical treatment but now the adjuster is saying the current complaints stem from that accident. Do not fall prey to the adjuster’s web of deceit. Simply because you were injured in the past does not mean that you did not sustain a new injury.
An injured worker should always consult a worker’s comp attorney when they are injured. You need someone on your side just as your company has on theirs so do not delay, contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney today.