You have probably heard about other large industries with nicknames like Big Oil and the Military Industrial Complex. According to a recent news feature from the Pacific Standard, the lesser-known workers’ compensation industrial complex is a real thing.
Recently, those in industry held a convention formally known as the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference and Expo. However, this was no simple affair. It featured a live alligator, all kinds of performers, including “scantily clad acrobats,” and had attendees arriving in stretch limos. There were dance lights, after-hour parties, and everything one would come to expect from a party hosted by a major casino.
However, as one attendee commented, this is all because somebody got hurt at work. In reality, though, it is more likely because these companies get to charge a premium in the event that somebody gets hurt at work and are making a lot of money in the process. It is not only the charging of premiums, but the attempts to deny valid claims for injured workers that is making workers’ compensation insurance companies such high profits. The bottom line is, of course, that these companies often care far more about their bottom lines than they do about whether an injured worker is able to take care of himself or herself and his or her family.
While this is supposed to be fairly simple, in that when an employee gets injured on the job, workers’ compensation pays for his or her medical bills and a portion of salary, things have gotten a lot more complex, and this why there is now a workers’ compensation industrial complex.
There are now third party companies that are promising to keep costs down for employers and their respective workers’ compensation insurance carriers. This is done by closely managing claims, negotiating with medical care providers, and other similar functions. However, while the insurance company might be making more money, the injured workers are suffering as a result of these cost-saving (profit making) solutions. More claims are being denied, and fewer benefits are being paid. To get an idea of how much money these workers’ compensation insurance companies are making, it is estimated that employers paid their workers’ compensation insurance carriers just under $90 billion last fiscal year, which is an incredible amount of money. That figure becomes even more incredible when we realize the steps insurance companies are going through to deny valid claims for workers who were seriously injured on the job.
It should be noted that a lot of these methods used to deny benefits and pay out less in overall claims are targeted at those injured workers who decided not to contact a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer to assist with their claim and fight for their rights to a full and appropriate benefits award. If you have an experienced attorney representing you throughout the entire process, your chances of obtaining benefits are significantly increased compared to your chances if you choose to try negotiate with an insurance company on your own.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
A Wild Night at the Workers’ Compensation Expo, January 8, 2016, Pacific Standard, By Michael Grabell
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Elevator Mechanic Killed when Falling Down Shaft, Jan. 24, 2015, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog