Imagine being a hard-working Australian with a family of three or four and a job that perhaps just barely supports them. Now, imagine you are injured at work in an accident or incident and through no fault of your own, or through the sheer negligence of your employer. You are suddenly forced to survive without any income while your employer’s workcover insurance carrier attempts to determine if you were really, really “injured at work.” Hey, it could well be that you suffered from ‘old age’ degeneration, or worse, the insurer may try and blame your injury on a ‘pre-existing’ condition, after all you may have fallen off your rocking horse when you were 5 years old.
Injured workers forced to jump over hurdles just to be compensated for their loss
Given injured workers are considered all ‘malingerers’ out to get a ‘free holiday’; chances are they will try everything to disprove your injury, scrutinising your entire life in a desperate attempt to pin down your injury on something else.
As we’ve discussed many times, favourite denial tactics include: a Monday morning accident; arriving early for work; not seeing a hazard he had just saw moments earlier; the mechanism of injury does not make sense; the accident was not witnessed; you selected particular doctor over a more qualified doctor; you saw/see a doctor who “does not address return to work”; and, in the case of psychological injury, well it simply was a case of ‘reasonable management action‘…
The workcover insurance carrier will make you go to endless doctor appointments – so called ‘independent’ medical examinations, again in an attempt to disprove or downgrade your injury, and they will force to you to travel to a examination or a hearing, sometimes over 50 miles away from your home, and even interstate. All the while, your bills will pile up and the debt collectors will start calling.
Whilst the workcover insurer stalls your claim and gaslights you, you will also be followed by private investigators– again in a misguided attempt to discredit you.
This is a reality that many workers face as workcover insurance carriers ‘litigate’ workcover claims. This system, set up as a way to protect and assist injured workers, is now over-filled with unnecessary roadblocks and barriers, adding enormous insult to any injured worker.
What was once hailed as an efficient system to protect injured workers’ rights and provide accessibility to resolve issues now forces injured workers to jump over hurdles just to be compensated for their genuine loss, be it a travel expense or a packet of wound swabs.
The workcover system today allows the insurance company (and the employer) to drag you through the mud. They will harass you until you break, and they will drag your case out for so long that you might want to settle just to end things, if not your life.
That’s the game…
This is a hell of a sick system we must all work to fix!Injured workers deserve to be fairly compensated.
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