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Why is there so much fighting in a workers' compensation claim?

I tell my clients that, once injured on the job, their claim turns into a full blown war between the employer and their insurance company on one side and the worker on the other.

Everyone takes sides. The doctors have, by and large, been persuaded by the insurance company executives and their drone adjusters that every worker is a morally corrupt person, out to get as much money as possible without working again, always seeking full disability status. The stories that are told, mostly false, of the worker faking an injury, faking disability and over treating with opioids are almost unbelievable.

The accusations that the workers, after an injury, were somehow bad employees before injury (no matter what their attendance or their yearly ratings were) boggles my mind.

Did the worker conspire to have an injury? Does anyone want to get hurt? I think not. But the ill feeling toward the injured workers, even by their peers who are still working, are amazingly negative.

What can be done about this? Very little in the present scheme of things. Why is that so, you say? I blame, in large part, the lawyer TV advertisers. These people are like hucksters…telling all who hear that they can get you “the money you deserve” for your injuries. “You have rights” they say and these lawyers want the worker to “lawyer-up” with them and only them. These TV “Hawkers” no more care about the plight of the workers, their clients, then does the insurance adjuster. Yet they mar the reputation of the workers who is hurt and just wants medical treatment (even if only rendered by a not so good company doctor who takes orders from the insurance adjusters and their managers.

Lawyers do help the worker to somewhat “even the playing field.” But the workers needs to be very careful who they retain to represent them. Otherwise, they will be treated as a pawn in a meaningless game of chess, won only when the claim is closed after a minimal payment for injuries.

Workers these days know they have certain rights. They need wise counsel which is only given by a select few. Let's hope you, the injured worker, find quality counsel in the Metro Atlanta area.

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