The workers' comp adjuster is the representative of the workers' comp insurance company that communicates most frequently and directly with you or your workers' comp attorney.
The whole reason they are employed is to help the insurance company make money - that's what insurance companies do. Many times adjusters do this by trying to delay and deny your legitimate claim. They receive training on how to minimize the benefits you should get, and they are often so overworked, handling so many cases, that they can't even get to yours. They are there to save the insurance company money, and if that means you get less in benefits and medical treatment, that's just the way it is.
But not for our clients. Our clients don't talk to adjusters, case managers, insurance nurses - we do.
We don't let our clients get taken advantage of by workers' comp adjusters.
There are some tricks that we see often that you might be experiencing while dealing with your workers' comp adjuster. Watch out for them.
Here's a list of the top five.
1) Recording a statement while the worker is in pain or under the influence of strong pain medications - after an accident, of course an injured worker is in pain. Some adjusters pick the worst times to ask for a recorded statement, knowing that the injured worker is more likely to say something that they can use to delay or even deny their claim. Don't let this happen to you.
2) Misrepresenting the benefits you can receive under the law - this is a big one. Because they know some injured workers don't have an attorney, they make it seem that the worker can't get certain benefits when they know they can. This way, you don't even ask for it. We know what you're entitled to here at Donahoe Kearney.
3) Intentionally not return calls - Not hearing back? It's a tactic to make you frustrated. They play phone tag as a way to delay and deny. Our full time professional staff takes care of this for you.
4) Wanting to settle too quickly - some adjusters, if they have a sense that the injury is serious but there isn't enough documentation readily available, will try to settle your case before they know the extent of the injury and what you're entitled to just so that they can "low-ball" you. Be wary if they offer you money but don't know everything that happened. You may be taking way less than you deserve.
5) Advising the injured worker not to retain an attorney - this one we see often, and can be the most damaging. Imagine being questioned without having a lawyer present - it makes it easier for them to take advantage of you if they know you don't know the law and don't know how much you deserve. They can more easily give you less than what you rightfully deserve under the law if you don't have a lawyer. Don't do this! If you've been seriously hurt, get all the information you can before trying to handle your claim by yourself. Make sure you contact us at 202-393-3320 so you can begin the process of getting representation if you truly need it. Click here to see why else you shouldn't handle your claim alone.
Now that you know some of the usual tricks, you'll be ready if they ever happen to you. The best way to protect yourself is to know the system, and have someone fighting on your side. The first thing you can do is order our free book on workers' compensation in D.C. Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation. You can order it here on our website, or call us at 202-393-3320 to get your free copy.
Then, give us a call at 202-393-3320 when you want to talk about your specific situation - you'll get a live person here - someone who can start helping you right away.