Lawmakers have taken steps to help protect those who are injured while at work. One way they achieve this goal is through a workers’ compensation system that provides prompt payment after injury or illness. These laws provide a relatively quick route to payment. Instead of having to go through a costly and time-consuming courtroom battle, lawmakers wrote workers’ compensation laws to provide payment after the injured worker files a claim.
In theory, this is a system that helps injured workers get funds to cover medical bills and missed wages so they can heal and then return to work. In reality, the workers’ compensation insurance provider is often a large company focused on its bottom line. Lawmakers recognize this reality and have additional protections. Most notably, the requirement that these companies act in good faith.
What is good faith?
The law requires workers’ compensation insurance providers act in good faith when reviewing a claim. This generally means the insurance provider should review the claim and investigate, awarding benefits if the worker meets the requirements. The investigation will likely include an examination of the information the worker included in the claim as well as the worker’s medical records.
What is bad faith?
Bad faith occurs when the provider does not meet the requirements noted above. Common examples include denying the worker benefits without reviewing the evidence, offering less than the worker is entitled, or delaying payment without good reason.
What if I believe insurance wrongly denied my workers’ comp benefits?
Those who believe their claim was wrongly denied or they received inadequate benefits have options for recourse. You can file a bad faith claim. It is important to note that there are time limits on these claims. The court will not allow a claim to move forward if it passes. In some cases, there is the possibility of filing for an extension to the deadline.
It is important to take the time to navigate this complicated process and fight for your entitled benefits.