Did you recently file a workers’ compensation claim for an on-the-job injury sustained in California? Does it feel like you’re getting the runaround from the workers’ comp insurance carrier? If so, you need to know that you’re not powerless to stop their actions. You can hold the insurance company accountable, pushing them to process your claim as the law requires. Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know about ending the runaround from the workers’ comp insurance company.
When workers’ compensation insurance carriers act in bad faith, they often unreasonably delay or unfairly deny the benefits you need. By giving you the runaround, they likely hope to avoid paying benefits by making you give up on the case.
If you don’t know your rights, they can get away with that, leaving you without the support needed to focus on recovering from your on-the-job injuries. You may then end up on the hook for your medical bills and have no recourse in collecting your lost wages.
After you file your claim with the workers’ comp insurance company, they have 14 days to notify you of the status of your claim. They will either need to start paying benefits or deny the claim on reasonable grounds by the end of that period.
If the insurance carrier does not respond at all during that time, you may be able to collect a penalty. Sometimes, the insurance company wraps a self-imposed penalty into your benefits payment. They will automatically add the 10% fine to your payment, giving themselves more time to process your claim.
You can raise the issue when that doesn’t happen, but the burden of proof will fall on you. Thankfully, you can get help handling the claim from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. With their use, you can file a penalty petition with the court and then submit the necessary evidence to show an unreasonable delay occurred.
Upon proving the case, you can get 25% or up to $10,000 in penalties added to your payment. The petition also sends the message that you understand your rights and can see the missteps made by the insurance company.
Penalties can help you resolve your case faster through a settlement if that’s your goal. Workers’ comp insurance companies are incentivized to complete a lump sum buyout as the penalties add up.
Also known as a compromise and release, this buyout allows both parties to settle the matter outright. You will then get a one-time payment covering your lost wages, medical bills, and other losses sustained due to the on-the-job injury.
Navigating your workers’ compensation case is often fraught with challenges, especially when insurance companies violate your rights. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. With a call to 888-287-4471, you can get the support you need from our team at Michael Burgis & Associates.
We have the skills and experience necessary to manage your claim while protecting your rights effectively. So, please feel free to give us a call whenever you’d like assistance with your workers’ comp case.