Here’s an easy question. If you are hurt on the job, who’s the most important person on your case. Let’s go multiple choice.
A. Your doctor.
B. The insurance adjuster.
C. Your lawyer.
D. Their lawyer.
E. None of the above.
If you said E, you’re correct. The most important person on your case is you. You are the injured person. Your life is being affected. You are the one in pain; the one who has to worry about paying their bills; the one who has to worry about what is going to happen if you can’t get better and have to find a new line of work.
For whatever reason we see some doctors and lawyers acting as if you are inconveniencing them with your case. I heard a story of one attorney who yelled at his client because the client’s trial was going to interfere with his spring break plans. Of all the things to be upset about. I can’t imagine telling a client, “Sorry, I can’t help you this month. I know you haven’t gotten a check for three months and need your surgery approved, but it’s way more important for me to go to Mexico. I’ll send you pictures.”
The worst offenders though are the insurance adjusters. On the one hand, many of them are young and poorly paid and they don’t have a lot of experience. So part of me wants to cut them some slack. On the other, much bigger hand, some adjusters seem to take joy in delaying payment of benefits. They’ll tell you that they are “investigating” your case when there is nothing to investigate. They won’t call back a doctor’s office who is looking for approval for a medical procedure. They’ll “forget” to enter your information in the system to have your TTD check processed even though that’s usually a bunch of b.s.
Not to say that there aren’t ever fraudulent claims, there are. We would never knowingly get involved in one. But some of these insurance people treat every case like it’s made up even when the medical records show a serious problem and the employer agrees that the worker was injured while performing their job duties.
So what are you to do? Even though I hated tests when I was in school, to celebrate the end of another school year let’s take another quiz.
A. Nothing. Eventually they’ll do the right thing.
B. Punch the wall.
C. Give up.
D. Have your attorney file a petition for penalties and fees for an improper delay of benefits.
I hope the answer is obvious. They can act like jerks, but you can make them responsible for their bad behavior. It’s way better than punching a wall.
If you have any questions about Illinois workers’ compensation law, fill out our contact form or call us any time at (312) 346-5578. There’s never a charge and we help with cases everywhere in Illinois.