3 Dangerous Workers Compensation Myths That You Shouldn't Believe

17 February 2015
 Categories: Law, Articles

In an economy where many people have trouble getting and holding onto jobs, becoming injured or ill at work can seem like the end of the world. Workers compensation is there to help by paying for medical bills, prescriptions and therapies, and lost wages while you're unable to work. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding workers compensation claims that can make it difficult for workers to collect the benefits that are due to them. If you're dealing with a work-related injury or illness and you need to file for workers compensation, beware of the following myths that might hinder your workers compensation claim.

Employers Have To Be Suspicious Because There Are So Many Fraudulent Claims

For a variety of reasons, it's commonly believed that many workers compensation claims are fraudulent. Workers, employers, and insurers can all be affected by this belief. The problem is that it isn't true. Studies show that only one to two percent of workers compensation claims are fraudulent – a far cry from many or most.

The problem with this myth is that if your employer believes it to be true, your claim may be treated with suspicion and delayed when you need to receive your benefits as quickly as possible. And if you believe that there are many fraudulent workers compensation claims, you may be less inclined to challenge delays that are occurring for no good reason. The truth is, the number of fraudulent claims is so low that there's no reason to assume your claim is anything other than legitimate. Don't accept unexplained delays in your benefits – enlist legal help if your employer is stonewalling you.

Filing For Workers Compensation Can Prevent You From Getting Future Jobs

Another commonly held belief is that a workers compensation claim will follow you, preventing you from getting hired for future positions. Often, employees are hesitant to file a claim because they are afraid of trouble when it comes to finding employment in the future.

There is a grain of truth to this myth. While employers are typically prohibited from asking you about previous workers compensation claims before they've made an offer of employment, some employers do perform background checks that reveal any litigation that you've been involved in, which includes past workers compensation claims. What's more, if your claim was unusual enough in some way to make the news, an employer may discover it simply by searching for your name online.

The good news is that most conscientious employers won't hold a workers compensation claim against you. All employers deal with workers compensation claims eventually; it's part of the cost of doing business, and honest employers who care about their employees accept that. An employer that's determined never to accept an employee who has had a workers compensation claim is probably not the kind of employer you want to work for in the first place. Unless you have a long history of employment-related lawsuits and workers compensation claims, you probably don't have to worry that seeking compensation for a legitimate injury will render you unemployable.

The Nurse Case Manager Is There To Help

If you've filed a workers compensation claim, the workers compensation insurance carrier might assign a nurse case manager to facilitate your care and communicate information back to the insurance company. Many workers don't question the nurse's presence, and may even be grateful for the help in coordinating their care.

It's important to remember that the nurse case manager is an employee of the insurance company, not your doctor, hospital, or therapist. The nurse's primary job is to help the insurance company save money on your claim. In some cases, that may mean that nurse case manager pushes for things that aren't good for you, like an end to treatment before you're ready to go back to work. You should be aware that you do have rights where nurse case managers are concerned – you don't have to allow them to participate in your care, and you should remember that anything you say to a nurse case manager employed by the insurance company is reported back to the insurance company, not kept in confidence.

If you have questions about your rights when filing a workers compensation claim, the best person to ask is a workers compensation attorney who is familiar with your state's workers compensation laws and procedures. Don't let myths and misunderstandings prevent you from getting the care and benefits that you need. Read more at a workers compensation lawyer's website.