Should you ever suffer a serious on-the-job injury, you probably expect workers' compensation to quickly step in and give you some medical and financial assistance. After all, that's why the system was designed, right?
Except that the system is struggling -- massively -- to live up to expectations. The injured workers in many states often find themselves doing without when workers' comp doesn't come through.
Long waits keep hurting workers
One of the major problems that workers encounter is excessive delays in their claims. Workers comp is supposed to cut out all the red tape that an injury lawsuit can involve. In reality, many injured workers suffer through long delays waiting for both medical care and financial compensation -- both of which are usually badly needed.
The issue has gotten so bad in California, for example, that state lawmakers proposed a new law that would compensate workers whose claims had been unfairly delayed or denied up with a 25% increase in their award (up to $10,000).
The filing process is burdensome
When you're hurt or sick, the last thing you want to do is slog your way through an endless supply of paperwork that has to be filled out and submitted in order to get your claim filed. California is also working on a paperless system that might take some of the bite out of the process -- but it's too early to say.
The filing process alone can be so cumbersome that many injured workers can't get through it without experienced legal assistance.
Payments are sometimes ridiculously low
Some state laws permit minimum payments that are far too low to help many injured workers survive during their time off work. While California isn't quite as bad as some others, insurers will generally try to pay out as little as possible on any given claim -- whether it's fair or not.
If you think that your workers' comp claim has been unfairly denied or limited, don't settle for less without a fight. Talk to someone about your legal options today.