We see a lot of tricks and tactics that we try to warn our readers about. While your injury and life isn’t a game, it can seem that way when you look at it from the standpoint of what an insurance company and some employers will do to gain an upper hand or more commonly, save some money on your claim, the law be damned.
The new trend is by getting injured workers to go to a “company doctor.” Basically you’ll get told that the claim is under investigation, but if you want to treat with their doctor, you can do that right away and they’ll pay for it. Sounds like a good deal, right?
Problem is that some of these doctors are hired guns who are motivated to say that you are fine because the insurance company or employer sends them a lot of business. If they say that you are hurt and need to be off of work, that will cost their Sugar Daddy some money and then they are at risk of losing a great source of business.
Recently a caller to my office was told that he had a torn rotator cuff. I’ve had this injury and know that it’s not a short recovery process from my own experience as well as from 19 years of helping injured workers. It’s a long term injury. Sometimes you get a cortisone injection and feel better until it wears off. Many people need the simple surgery which requires six months of therapy afterwords.
This caller, however, was told that he could return to work and needed no further treatment. The insurance company then said the case is closed and that they would be offering a settlement. Why would they do that? Because if you take the settlement it closes out your medical rights for that injury. This caller would clearly need tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical care so if they can offer him $5,000.00 to walk away it’s a steal for them.
I’ve heard similar stories from a bunch of callers lately. The good news is that if you don’t take the settlement offer it’s usually not too late. The key thing to do is get with your own doctor who will be objective and honest in their medical opinions. You do NOT have to treat with the hired gun the insurance company wants you to see. They have to pay for the medical bills for your work related injury whether it’s your doctor or theirs.
This is all really sneaky and slimy the way they try to make you believe that unless you go with their doctor they have a right to delay your treatment. This is how they make money though so it’s not surprising. Just gross.