How to Deal With Michigan Workers' Compensation Insurance Agencies
Getting injured on the job can be a scary situation that no one sets out for. After suffering a work injury, you probably have lots of daunting questions circling your mind, such as:
- How will I pay for my medical bills?
- How will I pay for the expenses of daily life while I can’t work?
- How will I take care of my kids while I’m incapacitated?
Fortunately, most Michigan workers are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. These are benefits designed to compensate you while you are out of work due to an injury you sustained on the job.
As you may know, dealing with insurance companies of any kind can be a real hassle. Here’s why workers’ compensation insurance companies are no different:
Insurance Company Representatives Aren’t Always Fully Transparent with Claimants
While some insurance company representatives will be honest and fully transparent, others most certainly won’t. You see, these individuals are highly trained in ways that protect the insurance company’s profits. If that means delaying, reducing, or outright denying your benefits, they won’t hesitate to do so, if they can.
They May Be Friendly, But They Are NOT Your Friends
Insurance company representatives can be master manipulators. They will likely be friendly with you when you speak with them, but always keep in mind that they do not have your best interests at heart. Believing the things the insurance company representative tells you can cost you quite a bit on your claim. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.
If You Don’t Seek Immediate Medical Care, They May Try to Invalidate Your Claim
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny claims or reduce the amount of compensation they will pay if a claimant fails to seek medical attention right after the injury. They argue that if you didn’t have to see a doctor right away, your injury must not be that bad.
Don’t give them this ammunition. If you’re hurt at work, it’s not worth waiting for medical attention.
They May Try to Force You to Use Their Physician
For the first 28 days following a work injury, you may be required to visit the workers’ compensation insurance company’s chosen doctor. Once 28 days have passed since your treatment began for your on-the-job injury, you have the right to seek medical care from any physician of your choice.
Sometimes, insurance companies may try to force you to use their chosen physician past the 28 day period, even though this is against the law in Michigan. This can easily become a conflict of interest since the insurance company is paying the physician for your care.
For instance, the insurance company’s physician may try to minimize your injuries and the treatment you need to reduce the costs for the insurance company.
Having An Attorney on Your Side Significantly Increases Your Chances of a Successful Claim
If you tell the insurance company that you are not hiring a lawyer to help with your claim, they may try to take advantage of you. Some of the strategies we’ve seen them attempt are as follows:
- Timely delays in benefits payments, or issuance of incorrect “low-ball” checks
- Making appointments with “independent” (we say “insurance”) medical examiners (IMEs) without providing you with proper notice
- Surveilling claimants by following and videotaping them in an attempt to cast doubt on a viable claim
- Passive threats and warmings, including recommending that you don’t seek out a lawyer
- Other violations or deceptive practices concerning your rights under the law and entitlement to benefits
If you’ve been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Let us see if we can help you recover them.
Call Adler Firm, PLLC today at (888) 966-9524 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your workers’ compensation case.