Here’s the most common scenario. The claims representative contacts you and tells you that you can relax, they’ve got it covered. If you need to stay off of work for a while, they’ll make sure that you get paid most of your wages while you’re out. If you have medical bills, they’ll make sure those get paid promptly. If you need a doctor, they’ll find one for you right away. So there’s no need for concern. You’ll be treated fairly. They won’t bring up the subject of lawyers but if you do, you’ll likely hear that you definitely don’t need one because you’ll receive the same compensation or even more dealing “directly” with the source.
Oh, If only it was that easy. There are so many ways that an insurance company can save money at the expense of you and your family. For instance, the doctors they refer you to can make a huge difference in deciding what money or medical services you ultimately receive for your workers compensation claim. See our topic called “Is my doctor watching out for me?” for more information on this subject. But undoubtedly the biggest money savings for an insurance company is when they forget to tell you about your right to a monetary settlement.
You could talk for hours to a claims representative about how they’ll pay your medical bills and how they’ll compensate you for lost time, or for this and that, and very rarely will they ever mention something called a settlement. Did they just forget? Not likely. You see, your settlement is something that must be claimed or it’s lost forever. You have only a certain period of time to file a claim preserving your right to a settlement, but if you never learn of it, you’ll never receive it. It’s the single most important part of your workers compensation rights and it’s what compensates you for your loss of health and helps protect your future. You need it and you deserve it. But if the workers compensation insurer never has to pay it to you, then they have saved a lot of money which of course increases their profits.
So should you worry? The short answer is no – with proper legal representation to protect your rights and avoid insurance company tricks there is nothing to worry about.