“News Tips” kindly sourced this very interesting article on The personal injury Law Journal about how the insurance industry uses the threat of fraud accusations as a way of keeping injured workers from pursuing their rights…
How the [workcover] Insurance Industry Uses Fraud Accusations as a way of Keeping Injured Workers from Pursuing Their Rights
The author of this article, A. Kravitz, writes that those who work in the workers’ compensation practice are in a unique system that has tried as best it can to separate fact from fiction, the reality from the perception, mostly in order to do the right thing when it comes to awarding benefits to injured workers.
Kravits further states that he has seen that more and more often, their search for the truth and desire to do the right thing has taken a back seat to the search for the gotcha moment: every omission an injured worker makes to a doctor is treated as a fraud; every task a worker completes out of necessity that he or she states he cannot do is a lie. He rightly says that the casualness of these fraud accusations is a growing virus that will pulverize the practice and jeopardize the efficient administration of the Workers’ Compensation Court.
According to the author, an injured worker can nowadays actually be whipsawed into saying or swearing to almost anything.
In one recent, true case, Kravits represented a client who suffered a re-injury at work at work and reported it appropriately to his boss. His boss told him that they will send him to a doctor, but if the doctor says he cannot work, they will have to fire him. They asked him if that’s what he wanted and the worker said no and refused to go to the doctor. The employer then told him that if he didn’t go to the doctor, he would be fired unless he chose to resign in order to collect unemployment. The client filed for unemployment and, after he resigned, he contacted [Kravitz] asking for a doctor and wanting to apply for disability.
Interestingly, Kravitz states that:
If this man applies for Social Security, does the fact that he told unemployment he was capable of working prevent him from collecting Social Security? No, but, that fact will be used against him at a Social Security hearing.”
These issues don’t even touch upon people who suffer from major depression after an accident, he says, which in and of itself can contribute to the debilitating process and make an injury even worse.
And so Kravitz concludes that “once we fall into making assumptions that every worker is trying to gain the system, therefore, every worker is suspect and as such every inconsistency by an injured worker is treated in the harshest possible way”.
The legislature clearly did not intend for this to happen.
[Source: Posted by Arthur H. Kravitz on December 16, 2011 on Personal Injury Law Journal ]
Sourced by “News Tip” with thanks