Workers’ compensation is supposed to be fair and easy to obtain whenever someone gets hurt on the job. However, injured workers often find themselves facing obstacles at every turn.
Why? It all comes down to money and a bit of inherent distrust between employers and their employees. Employers need to limit the number of workers’ comp claims they have so they can minimize their insurance costs. Far too many of them buy into the idea that the average employee won’t hesitate to cheat them if they’re able – and that includes faking an injury.
Insurance companies exploit the distrust
Insurance companies aren’t exactly in a rush to pay claims either. They tend to encourage employers to look for “red flags” that say an employee may be trying to commit some kind of workers’ comp fraud. Then they can use these suspicions to delay the claim or try to deny it altogether.
Here’s the problem: Almost anything can be a “red flag” if that’s how an employer chooses to see it. Consider this list of things that should be considered signs of workers’ comp abuse:
- Were you injured on a Monday or a Friday? The odds are high that this can happen since that’s 40% of your workweek, but an employer may decide that you were really injured on the weekend and are just trying to fraudulently seek benefits.
- Do you have a second job to make ends meet? Do you have a hobby? Do you exercise? Again, in your employer’s mind, all of these are possibly ways you could have hurt yourself – instead of while doing your job.
- Have you ever been hurt on the job before? Do you understand your rights to workers’ comp? Did you ask direct questions about your benefits? To a suspicious employer, all of these things could make you seem like a grifter.
If you find that your workers’ comp claim is being met with resistance, you have every right to take legal action. You don’t have to fight this sort of situation on your own.