What You Need to Know About Insurance Adjusters (Part 3)
Our office has handled hundreds (if not thousands) of cases during this time. By representing hundreds and hundreds of work accident victims over the years, we began to see how the insurance industry deals with victims after they begin the claim process following the work accident.
- We have found that most insurance adjusters are highly trained adversaries. Most people do not realize this, at least not at the beginning of the workers compensation claims process. Most people understand that the insurance company’s job is to make money. One way it does this is by settling claims for less than the claim is worth. Yet, most people are unaware of how sophisticated, yet simple, the methods the carrier will utilize to help accomplish this goal.
Questions you MUST ask the insurance carrier:
Now, the carriers don’t like it when you ask these questions because they either cannot answer the question, or worse, they don’t want you to have the answer.
QUESTION 8: If you are claiming that my medical treatment is unreasonable, will you pay my doctor to write a detailed report explaining why my treatment has been reasonable, necessary, and related to the work accident?
Answer: Of course not! The insurance company will always refuse this request. Although the claims adjustor has absolutely no medical training, nothing stops him or her from arguing that your treatment was excessive or unreasonable. This is just one way the carrier will whittle down your claim. An experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney on your side will solve the problem!
QUESTION 9: Why didn’t you tell me to file a claim form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission? (even if you are making voluntary payments.)
Answer: In Virginia, you only have 2 years from the date of the accident to file your claim form against your employer. This is also called the statute of limitations. Sometimes the insurance company will intentionally delay and drag out the process or make voluntary payments. Then before you know it, the 2 years statute of limitations is right around the corner. The insurance company knows that you only have a certain amount of time to file your claim and if you’re backed up against the statute of limitations, there is a good chance no reasonably good attorney will take your case. You will then be forced to accept a settlement that is virtually pennies on the dollar of the true value of what the claim is worth or receive nothing further at all. The insurance company making voluntary payments is not the same thing as filing a claim for benefits with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission which ensures your rights. The reason to file your claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation is to get an award order. The award order indicates that the insurance company is legally obligated on your claim, that you are entitled to lifetime medical benefits, and details the facts of other benefits if you are entitled to other benefits,
There you have it, folks – Insurance adjusters are well trained in the art of misinformation. DON’T BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF!!! Take a stand by educating yourself to ensure NO ONE is able to pull the wool over your eyes!
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for more tips to shed some light on the misinformation adjusters give to injured workers. It could mean the difference as to whether or not you are awarded benefits for your work injury!
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.