Today’s post comes from guest author Thomas Domer, from The Domer Law Firm in Milwaukee. He writes about some perceptions that people have about injured workers and filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Although various blog authors who have been posted this year have put a focus on employer fraud, society through the media has put a big focus on employee fraud. No one lives in a vacuum, and for as many loved ones who support an injured worker’s right to compensation, there are also those folks who don’t understand how the system works or think that injured workers should just keep their heads down, suffering in silence and not going up against their employers.
But the reality is that, as I have said before, it’s better to have a good life than a good case. And if employers always did what they were supposed to in support of workers who were injured at their places of business, then the workers’ compensation process would be a lot less complicated, and injured workers would be helped a lot quicker, possibly with better long-term results.
If you or a loved one is hurt, keep in mind that loyalty to an employer in not making waves may be misplaced – be sure to focus on what’s important in the long term: the health of the injured worker and the well-being of their loved ones.
The mythology surrounding employee fraud in worker’s compensation is pervasive. Many of my clients begin their conversations with me indicating the following: “I’m not one of those folks faking their worker’s compensation claim.” The exaggerated media publicity concerning employee fraud has also resulted in outright worker intimidation regarding filing a claim. I had this conversation today with a prospective client.
Attorney: Why didn’t you report the incident?
Client: I didn’t want to have that on my record. Nobody will hire me if I have a worker’s comp injury.
Attorney: Why didn’t you seek medical treatment?
Client: I do not have insurance.
Attorney: Can you obtain insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
Client: You mean Obamacare? No way!
Fear of being stigmatized as a complainer, whiner, or simply a recipient of worker’s compensation benefits has prompted many legitimately injured workers from filing a worker’s compensation claim.
The adverse publicity concerning the Affordable Care Act (and its pejorative popular name “Obamacare”) results in many otherwise qualified workers from obtaining the health care they need, especially when denied by a worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
The politics of medical care intrudes in the worker’s compensation arena daily.