Insurance Companies Do Not Look Out For Your Interests

A recent Workers’ Compensation Board decision shows how you should not expect the insurance companies to protect your rights. A man injured on the job was being treated for his back injury, and the treatment was being paid for by KEMI (Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance) the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for his employer. He requested that KEMI pay for his lost wages, and he was compensated until January 2011, but not after. He then called the insurance adjuster at KEMI and asked her to pay for additional lost wages, and she told him that she would take care of it. His employer eventually paid salary for that period of time. In the meantime, KEMI continued to pay for medical treatment, including back surgery, and he was being considered for a spinal cord stimulator, while he was doing light duty at work. Then, KEMI stopped paying for any treatment and told him his claim was closed in September 2013. The Judge in his case, and the Workers’ Compensation Board on appeal, held that the insurance company had no more responsibility for lost wages, medical expenses, or permanent disability. Davis Hammond vs. KD Buckles Co. WCB# 2010-90780 (rendered September 2, 2014).
The statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a claim, is two years from the date of the injury, or two years from the date temporary total disability payments are last made. Salary continuation by an employer, doing light duty work, or the workers compensation insurance carrier paying for medical treatment, do not extend the statute of limitations. But this man did not know these rules, and he thought the workers’ compensation insurance company would look out for his interests. KEMI did not, and he lost his claim. Now, workers compensation will not pay for his medical treatment, lost wages, or permanent disability.
If you are not sure about your rights under workers’ compensation laws, consult an experienced attorney. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier does not have any duty to look out for your interests. They will do only what they are obligated to do under the law, but you are expected to look out for your own rights. Insurance companies hire many lawyers to tell them what is in the insurance company’s best interest. You should hire your own lawyer to tell you what is in your best interest.