Why do injured workers need attorneys?

Apr 24, 2019 | WC & Other Laws

I am often asked, “Why do injured workers need attorneys? What are the instances when somebody needs an attorney?” There are four major reasons why people come to speak to either myself, Britton or Ronda.

  1. They want to be educated on the system – I think any injured worker, whether it’s a fairly severe injury or not, should at least understand what their rights are and how the system works.
  2. They start getting treated differently at work – Many employees feel that their employment relationship has become strained. They start feeling as though the employment atmosphere has become hostile.
  3. Their experience with the insurance company is difficult – A worker may feel the exchange with the adjuster, the insurance company, isn’t a very good one. They feel as though they’d like some questions answered in regard to what the insurance company is doing and why they’re doing it.
  4. The doctor/patient experience – Lastly, and probably the biggest reason why people come and see us is when they seek treatment from their doctor, it’s a total foreign experience. It’s not like when you go to your family practitioner, your PCP, where they sit you down and they spend a good amount of time with you and ask you all these probing questions to kind of figure out what actually is going on with you so that they can give you treatment and honestly give you quality care. It’s nothing like that.

Conflict of interest

People can quickly feel as though they’re being villainized for injuring themselves. They feel as though there’s a cursory examination that’s being performed on them and they’re not getting quality care. I am often asked why that is the case. When I am doing my initial consultation I tell everyone one of the reasons is a massive conflict of interest that’s going on behind the scenes. It is one of the things that plague the workers’ compensation system in my opinion.

When you pull back the curtain of the work comp system, you see there a conflict of interest between the injured worker, the physician that’s treating them and the insurance company, slash the employer. The physician doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds them a massive referral source in the insurance company. They have all the reasons to appease the insurance carrier and very little reason to appease the injured worker.

What results is that the injured worker gets really, really poor care and gets extremely frustrated. Ultimately, and understandably, they come and want to understand what their rights are. At Kaplan Morrell, that’s exactly what we do. We explain what their rights are. We tell them what they can do about trying to get quality care in a system that doesn’t provide a lot of quality care. That’s one of the biggest things that we do to assist injured workers.

Know your rights

If you’re an injured worker you may be wondering about your treatment. You want to know why it’s a little bit off or why you don’t think the doctor’s listening to you. It is that big conflict of interest that plagues the system. You need to know your rights. Come see us at Kaplan Morrell for a consultation.