Employers may fight legitimate workers’ compensation claims because they are concerned that expensive claims could cause their insurance premiums to skyrocket, they want to discourage other injured employees from filing claims, or they want to protect their company’s image.
Companies Want to Control Insurance Costs
Employers pay premiums for workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Those premiums are based in part on the amount of money the insurer pays in claims. If an employee is out of work for several months and needs one or more expensive surgeries and ongoing physical therapy, or if a worker gets seriously injured on the job and is permanently disabled, the costs associated with the claim may lead to a spike in insurance premiums. Companies may fight workers’ compensation claims to try to get them denied and thus keep their insurance premiums down.
If multiple employees file workers’ compensation claims in a relatively short period of time, that can also cause insurance premiums to jump. Companies sometimes fight workers’ compensation claims to make other injured employees think twice about filing their own claims. A person who gets hurt on the job may think that filing a workers’ compensation claim wouldn’t be worth it if he or she has heard about another employee who had to go through years of legal battles to get compensation. If a co-worker fought hard for compensation but their claim was ultimately denied, this is another reason an employee may not seek compensation.
A lengthy legal battle over a workers’ compensation claim may be expensive, but a company’s leaders may think that it will pay off in the long run if it discourages other injured workers from filing claims. By keeping the number of claims and the total cost of benefits paid down, companies can keep their insurance premiums as low as possible.
Businesses Want to Protect Their Reputations
In some cases, employers fight workers’ compensation claims because they fear that accepting responsibility could damage their image. If an employee suffered serious injuries or are permanently disabled because of unsafe working conditions, that information could have a negative effect on public perceptions of the company if it hit major news outlets.
Negative opinions among the general public could in turn affect the company’s profits and stock prices. Leaders may think that it would be in the company’s best interest to do everything in its power to avoid paying a claim.
How Employers Fight Workers’ Compensation Claims
Businesses sometimes claim that employees were not really injured. Employers may be particularly suspicious of workers’ compensation claims for injuries caused by repetitive motion. For instance, if an employee who routinely lifts boxes at work files a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury, the company may dispute the claim and argue that the employee’s pain is not as severe as he or she claims. Some types of injuries and conditions that cause chronic pain do not produce signs that can be clearly detected via x-rays or tests, but the pain and suffering they cause are nonetheless real.
If an injury happened away from the workplace, the employer may argue that the worker was not acting within the scope of employment at the time. For instance, if an employee was driving to a meeting or making a delivery and got hurt in a car accident, the employer may claim that the employee was traveling for personal reasons and is therefore not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Get Legal Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you were hurt while performing your job and now you are unable to work and need medical care, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. You may be entitled to benefits to cover your medical bills and a portion of your lost income. If you are permanently disabled, you may be entitled to a pension or a structured settlement. If your claim is denied, you may be able to appeal and get the benefits you deserve.
The process to file a workers’ compensation claim is often complex. Laws, procedures, and deadlines vary widely from state to state. That can make the whole experience feel confusing and overwhelming. Having a valid claim be denied can be frustrating and disheartening.
Getting professional assistance from an attorney may make the process smoother. Ben Crump Law, PLLC assists people across the United States who suffer serious injuries on the job and helps them seek the workers’ compensation they deserve.
A workers’ compensation attorney can answer your questions and explain U.S. Department of Labor rules, procedures, and deadlines in your state. Your employer may fight your claim to keep its insurance costs down and to protect its reputation. If that happens, we can help you appeal the decision and seek the benefits you deserve.
If you choose to get help from an attorney, it is important to work with someone who handles workers’ compensation cases in your state. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 603-4224 to discuss your case and your state’s laws with a member of our staff.