If you get hurt at work, you’ll need to file a workers compensation claim. Once the insurance company receives your claim, they’ll assign a claims adjuster to your file. You may assume the insurance adjuster will treat you fairly. Unfortunately, there are many tricks workers comp adjusters use to delay benefits or convince you to accept a low settlement.
In this blog, we will discuss six of the more common tricks claims adjusters use. We’ll also describe how our Florida workers’ comp lawyers can help you. Contact us today for help with your claim!
1. Workers Comp Adjusters Pretend They’re on Your Side
When you first speak with the person handling your worker’s comp claim, they may pretend to be on your side. Early in the process, many claims adjusters treat you like a friend, empathizing with your injuries and the frustrating workers’ comp process.
Do not fall for this approach. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to pay as few claims as possible. Their goal is to find a reason to delay or deny your claim. You need to be on the alert and let your workers comp attorney deal with the insurance company.
2. The Adjuster Asks for a Recorded Statement
In the days following your workplace accident, the insurance company will ask you to provide a recorded statement. They do this for two reasons.
First, they’re hoping you will admit to something that could jeopardize your claim. Second, they will ask trick questions that you don’t know how to answer properly.
This can be a tricky situation because the insurance company has a right to ask for your statement. However, your attorney can ask that you have a chance to review a typed version of the statement before you sign off that it is true and accurate.
3. Hiring a Private Investigator to Follow You
If your claim is large, the insurance company may hire an investigator to follow you. Their mission is to secure proof that you exaggerated or lied about your workplace injuries. The insurance company may try to argue you aren’t seriously injured because you engaged in activities such as playing sports or going out for the afternoon with a friend despite being in pain.
There is nothing illegal about what the insurance company is doing. You just need to be careful that you don’t do anything that would go against your claim of injury.
4. Workers Comp Adjusters Offer Lowball Settlements
One of the most dangerous things workers compensation claims adjusters do is dangle a low settlement in front of you. They know you can’t afford to go without benefits. They also know you’re worried about medical bills.
They’ll tempt you with a settlement much lower than what you deserve. This is why it’s important to meet with a Florida workers’ compensation attorney before you accept any offer.
5. Pressuring You to Sign a Settlement Release
If you are considering a settlement offered by the insurance company, don’t sign anything. The insurance adjuster will pressure you to sign a settlement release. You should never do this without having it reviewed by a licensed attorney.
Why is this so important? The claims adjuster may change or omit the terms of the settlement offer. For example, they may try any of the following:
- They do not include payment for any time you’ve already missed from work.
- It does not list all the body parts you injured.
- They reduce your percentage of disability in the agreement.
- They use the wrong income information when determining your benefit rate.
- The settlement amount is wrong.
- The terms call for a structured payout when it was supposed to be a lump sum.
When your workers comp attorney reviews the settlement release, they’ll catch these things. They’ll also make sure the terms are fair to you and encompass all the terms of your settlement.
6. Using Scare Tactics to Get You to Settle or Back Down
Throughout the process, the workers comp adjuster may try to convince you that it’s easier to settle quickly rather than retain a lawyer. They may tell you that there is an overwhelming amount of paperwork you’ll have to fill out.
They may also exaggerate how long it can take to get benefits. Their goal is that you’ll be desperate enough to settle for whatever amount they offer. An attorney will protect you in this situation. They’ll make sure that any settlement you accept is fair.
Call Our Top Florida Workers Compensation Attorneys
If you’re hurt on the job, the last thing you need is to be taken advantage of by the insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters have certain tactics they use with many of the claims that cross their desks. The best way to combat this is to hire a Florida workers comp lawyer to help you.
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims. Insurance adjusters often try to scare or overwhelm employees hoping they’ll walk away. Or they hope that they’ll accept a low settlement.