What are two of the most common ways employers will attempt to weaken a workers' compensation claim in order to avoid paying it?
1. He or she will try to discredit you and make you look like a bad employee.
Who files workers' compensation claims? You probably think that it is employees who got injured or sick on the job. Your employer wants the judge or jury to think, "bad employees who are trying to wring an unfair payment out of their poor, beleaguered employers."
You can count on your employer pulling your personnel file and making a big deal over any negatives that are in there. How could the fact that you were written up for being tardy too often when you were having car trouble relate to your back injury? It doesn't -- but that won't stop your employer from trying to use the write-up to paint you as a lazy employee who wants something for nothing.
To counter this, make certain that there are no surprises for your attorney. Even if you think that an issue can't possibly be related, cover every negative blot on your record with your attorney so that you are prepared with a response.
2. Your employer will try to invade your personal life and "prove" you are faking your illness or injury.
Employers are told to show no mercy to anyone they suspect of faking an illness or injury -- and some employers think that every employee is faking unless he or she nearly lost a limb in front of a dozen witnesses. If you have a hidden injury like carpal tunnel or a slipped disc in your back, expect your employer to pry into your personal life.
They may ask coworkers for information about you, hire a private investigator to follow you or comb your social media accounts looking for evidence of fraud.
To counter this, be particularly cautious about what you do, and try to see everything in the light most negative to your case. For example, a picture of you smiling at your grandson's birthday party posted on Facebook could be seen a "proof" that you aren't in excruciating pain -- after all, people in pain never fake a smile, right?
Employers determined to deny a claim can be very petty and aggressive -- having a workers' compensation attorney on your side can help you defend against such tactics.
Source: Leaders Choice Insurance Services, "3 Tips For Winning Your Workers' Comp Claim in Court!," accessed June 21, 2017