A very frustrated reader commented on one of our posts about how awful Gallagher Bassett was being in their case. They felt that it was personal and quite honestly (and understandably) it was getting the best of them. When you are seriously hurt at work it feels like your life is on the line because in many ways it is. If you can’t pay your bills and are having stress in your marriage or are in constant pain, when the insurance company is screwing with you it feels like war.
Gallagher Bassett seems awful, but are they the worst Illinois work comp insurance company? How about Chubb? The Hartford? Travelers? BerkleyNet? CCSMI? Sedgwick?
The answer is none of the above and all of the above. The reality is that they are all businesses. Very similar businesses who approach cases in similar manners. Their agenda is to make money. They do that by charging businesses for insurance and paying much less in claims. If your case could cost them between $20,000-$100,000, they will do whatever they can to make that number as close to 20k as possible, even if it seems shady.
They do it by only approving two physical therapy visits a week instead of three. They do it by denying your MRI or if they do approve it, only doing so when you agree to go to the place that will charge them $400 instead of $1,000 even if that facility doesn’t do a good job. They do it by paying a hired gun IME doctor to say you are fine. They do it by telling you your case is closed in the hopes you will go away. They do it by convincing you to use your personal health insurance to get treatment. They do it by not counting the wages you earned from overtime or your second job in calculating your average weekly wage. They do it by conducting surveillance on you. They do it by taking a recorded statement from you. They do it by having a nurse case manager interfere with your treatment.
To you this is your life and it’s personal. To them, even when the adjuster is clearly an awful person, it’s just business. They will drive you crazy and do whatever they can to frustrate you or they will seem like they are super nice because they know if you get a lawyer you will discover the rights you are missing out on. Rest assured whether they are mean or nice or in between, their goals are not for you to get better, but to save themselves some money.
So while I can’t tell you not to be stressed or frustrated, I can assure you that you are not alone and if the facts are on your side, justice can prevail. Even when you are dealing with the worst insurance company in the world.