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Strategies Workers’ Compensation Insurers May Use to Fight a Workers’ Comp Claim

filling out a form about an injurySometimes it is difficult to recover workers’ compensation benefits because the insurance company is actively trying to avoid paying. There are various strategies they may use to try to discredit you or downplay your injury to deny you benefits.

The experienced Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys at Berry, Smith & Bartell are familiar with common methods workers’ comp insurers may use. We can explain how to protect your claim during a free legal consultation.

Asking for a Recorded Statement

The workers’ comp insurer may ask for a recorded statement soon after the accident. The insurance company is hoping you will agree because you want to move the process along and you may not know that providing a recorded statement so early in the process could hurt your claim.

The insurance company is not asking for this statement to help speed up the process and get you benefits. They are hoping they can get you to say something that can be used against you to delay or deny your claim.

Asking for a Medical Release

Another common tactic that insurance companies may use to try to minimize the value of your claim is to ask for a broad medical release form. They will then use this release to review years’ worth of medical records to try to find any pre-existing injury that could be connected to your new injury.

Before signing any paperwork, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney who can explain when to give this statement and what to include in it.

Hiring a Private Investigator

The insurance company may hire a private investigator to try to find any information that can be used against you, such as:

  • Evidence that you are not following the doctor’s work restrictions or other orders
  • Statements from neighbors about recent vacations you took or strenuous activity you completed
  • Proof that you have overstated your injuries to your medical provider

This person may follow you, photograph you and record you to try to find anything that could damage your claim.

Reviewing Your Social Media Accounts

A representative of the insurance company may be assigned to monitor your social media accounts. They may look for posts where you minimize your injuries to friends and family. They may also hunt down photos of you playing with your children or being active to try to show you are not injured.

This is why attorneys often tell work injury victims to stay off of social media while their claim is pending. They may also recommend that you adjust your privacy settings to prevent people you do not know from spying on your accounts.

Offering a Light-Duty Job

Your employer may offer you a light-duty job. However, if you accept it and return to work, the amount of benefits you receive may be reduced.

While you may be able to perform light-duty work, you may find that the job is only temporary and then your employer may try to move you back to your old job before you are ready.

Trying to Settle Too Quickly

The workers’ comp insurer may try to quickly settle your claim, especially if your injury is serious. They hope you will agree because their settlement offer will likely be for much less than your claim is worth. They also want to get to you before you hire an attorney who can represent you and negotiate for you. They may even advise you against hiring an attorney.

Contact an Attorney for Help with Your Claim

If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The experienced legal team at Berry, Smith & Bartell is prepared to help you pursue benefits.

We can advise you during the workers’ compensation process to help protect your claim. We can handle all communications with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery.

Your consultation is free and there is no obligation to hire our firm. There are no upfront costs or attorney’s fees for having us represent you.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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