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I remember a friend of mine in the early 2000’s moving to help run an Amazon warehouse and thinking that I can’t believe he’s moving across the country to run a bookstore. Now of course Amazon is a 10,000-pound giant and sells everything and employs hundreds of thousands of people. They are growing so fast. I’ve been a work comp attorney since 1997 and I don’t think any other company I’ve seen compares to them.
Amazon’s workers’ compensation cases are handled by an insurance company called Sedgwick. They are what is known as a third-party administrator meaning they act as an insurance company, but the money comes out of Amazon’s pockets. With most of the companies that Sedgwick works with – and they work with places like Target, PepsiCo, AT&T, Chicago Public Schools to name a few – the employer seems to dictate how the cases are handled. We also usually seem to see the same adjusters handling those cases over and over.
With Amazon, they are growing so quickly that it can at times be chaotic. How the case is handled seems to be dictated by which adjuster at Sedgwick is on the case. They have a lot of them handling the cases and there appears to be a lot of turnover. Amazon workers in general have a lot of injuries. I believe that is because they onboard so many people who might not all be trained the best and of course the jobs they are doing are high risk for injury. Injuries are bound to happen with all of that lifting and repetitive work.
So while dealing with some big companies can be predictable, with Amazon it really does seem to matter which adjuster is assigned to the case and how long they’ve been there. Much like Amazon, they are bringing on many new people to handle these claims. While Illinois work comp law and the facts of your injury are the most important factors in how your case will turn out, a bad adjuster can make life difficult for a while.
Because of this, it’s important that not only your attorney be experienced, but they have a track record of handling Amazon workers compensation claims. The more adjusters they know at Sedgwick, the better chance of success your case has. We get approximately 5-7 calls a week from Amazon injured workers and have been able to help people all throughout Illinois with our state-wide network.
As an injured worker, even if your case seems to be going well, be prepared that the adjuster on your case could change at a moment’s notice, and with that so could their strategy on how to fight your case. It’s not unusual for them to do things to try and frustrate you such as tell you the case is under investigation, send you for an IME, not return phone calls, not approve medical treatment without good reason, etc. Most of these tactics are BS of course, but don’t let them get to you. Their goal is to make you quit your case or use alternative methods to pay for your care. None of that is in your best interests.
It’s nothing more than a business decision to them and part of the chaos of such a growing company. When you know your rights it’s much harder for them to get away with this. So if you’d like to discuss your case for free and in confidence, contact us any time.