Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer is often who you deal with after a work injury, and they are the ones paying your benefits, or not paying in many cases. Here are some things that they don’t want you to know…

 1. You don’t have to talk to them or give a recorded statement. They want you to say something that will hurt your claim. Tell that them you won’t give a recorded statement. Your safest bet is to hire an attorney – someone who knows the games insurance companies play – who will talk to them for you. This way you don’t run the risk of inadvertently hurting your claim.

 2. You should hire a lawyer. They’ll make you think it’s not necessary, that everything is very routine and that they’ll look out for you. It’s a scam. They know that if you have an attorney they’ll have to pay more on your claim. If you don’t have an attorney, they know they can take advantage of you, such as offering you an extremely low settlement offer because you have no idea what your claim is actually worth.

 3. If you accept a settlement, you give up your right to any future medical coverage. Settling a claim can be beneficial to both sides. As an injured worker, you can get a lump sum payment without going to trial. But if you are facing more medical treatment, such as a potential surgery in the future, be careful. When you sign a settlement, you agree that you won’t ask them for any more medical coverage. If you go to trial, you can leave this option open.

 4. They’re not denying your claim for a good reason. Sometimes, their reason for denying benefits is a long shot, but they’re really just hoping you get frustrated and go away.

 5. They’re in it to make money. The number one way they do this is to pay you less than fair value on your claim. That is their goal. They may pretend like they care about you, but they answer to their stockholders and making a profit is what they really aim to do.

 It sounds bad, but all hope is not lost. If you are aware of these things, it will be much harder for them to take advantage of you. Let us know if you have any questions about what the insurance company has told you. It may not be the whole story.

By Michael Helfand