Did you suffer a workplace injury? Do you now seek workers’ compensation benefits to pay your medical expenses and lost wages? If so, knowing the workers’ comp delay tactics that could derail your claim is critical.
Workers’ comp adjuster tricks could defeat your efforts to obtain full benefits. Our experienced Winston-Salem and Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys are here to serve as zealous advocates for injured North Carolina workers. We can work to protect you from any delay tactics. Contact us online or call (336) 724-2828 today for a consultation.
6 Common Workers’ Compensation Delay Tactics
Insurance companies use a variety of delay tactics and other workers’ comp dirty tricks to delay or deny injured workers’ claims. It’s simple. The insurance company seeks to minimize its financial responsibility at your expense. Those delay tactics include the following.
1. Slow Communication
Unfortunately, a workers’ comp adjuster not responding is a common occurrence. When an adjuster fails to return your calls, e-mails, or texts, it could be the adjuster has a full caseload. The cause for the delay could also be a tactic designed to slow your claim and frustrate you.
Regardless of the reason, when a communication breakdown occurs, it slows down your benefits claim process. Keep records of all communication with the insurance company. Don’t allow workers’ comp dragging their feet to dissuade you from pressing forward with your claim.
2. Requesting More Information
A common workers’ comp delay tactic involves requesting more information about your injury or treatment. Before your claim is approved, the adjuster may request information piece by piece instead of all at once. The idea is to increase the time it takes to process your claim by spreading out these requests. Requesting information about your medical history can be legitimate, but this can also be used as a delay tactic.
Let’s be honest. The adjuster knows what information they need to process your claim from the beginning. If they weren’t trying to delay your claim, they would ask for it upfront.
3. Processing Delays
Under North Carolina law, an injured worker must notify their employer of an injury sustained while working as soon as possible. In all circumstances, you must notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the date that the work-related injury occurred. You must file a claim within two years to avoid a bar on your claim.
Whether the processing delays you experience result from the insurance company or your employer, contact an attorney for assistance. Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys know about state filing requirements. They can hold employers and insurers responsible for their delays.
4. Insisting on a Recorded Statement
Insurance companies routinely request a recorded statement from workers’ compensation claimants. It’s a typical part of the claims process. On its face, a recorded statement seeks to get your version of events. However, an adjuster rarely uses the recorded statement for the claimant’s benefit.
It’s prudent to provide a recorded statement only under the direction of a North Carolina workers’ comp lawyer. Otherwise, the insurer can misrepresent your words and use them against you to reduce compensation or deny your claim.
5. Delaying Authorization for Requests
Another delay tactic involves delaying authorization for treatment. An adjuster can claim that medical treatments are unnecessary or not covered by workers’ compensation. The insurance company may take weeks to respond. This can be stressful as it delays your treatment.
This tactic can also include an insurance company delaying payment for medical treatment. Payment delays can be equally stressful. If you encounter a workers’ comp delayed treatment situation, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.
6. Offering a Light-Duty Position
Taking a light-duty job while recovering from a workplace injury may seem like a win-win. But this decision can negatively impact your workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation adjuster may use your ability to perform in this light-duty position to argue that you are not as injured as you claim. This decision to take a light-duty position may jeopardize your claim and lead to a reduction or even a denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
Speak with an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney Immediately
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover the full benefits allowed under workers’ compensation law. At EMP Law, our legal team will advise you on applicable laws, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. Don’t try to navigate this process alone.
With more than 140 years of combined experience, we have a reputation for championing injured workers. We will assist you throughout the workers’ compensation claim process, including hearings and appeals. With offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, EMP Law serves clients throughout North Carolina. Contact us online or call (336) 724-2828 today for help.