due diligence work comp

Have you experienced lack of due diligence by your adjuster or employer?

Under the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, employees can receive financial penalties against an insurance company or an employer who acts with a lack of due diligence.  The definition of lack of due diligence is likely what the judge thinks is unreasonably slow.  They are expected to handle claims with persistence, attentiveness and in good trust.

Insurance adjuster’s are oftentimes overworked and not responsive.  Not only do you experience this, but we also deal with unresponsive adjusters on a daily basis.  There are many good adjusters also, but many adjusters have too much work resulting in unreturned emails or unanswered phone calls, and therefore unable to perform effectively.  Such conduct could result in a judge penalizing the insurance company for a lack of due diligence.

In our office’s experience, to obtain an award of financial penalties for lack of due diligence requires the injured worker and/or his attorney to keep documentation of each and every step along the case that the adjuster/employer does not act responsibly and within a reasonable amount of time.  If you feel that your claim involves one for lack of due diligence, please remember that the Workers’ Compensation Act allows the judge to penalize the slow party and award you money for their lack of due diligence.

When an Employer or Insurance Carrier Acts in Bad Faith or Lacks Due Diligence

 

The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act gives the Worker’s Compensation Board the authority to determine if an employer or the employer’s worker’s compensation carrier acted in bad faith or lacked due diligence in handling an injured worker’s claim. These terms simply refer to the responsibility of employers and worker’s compensation insurance carriers to handle claims with persistence, attentiveness, and in good trust.

If an employer or their insurance carrier is found to have acted in bad faith or lacked due diligence, the Board can impose fines which are to be paid to the injured employee between the amount of $500 and $20,000. Additionally, attorney fees may be awarded by the Board in these cases of up to 33 1/3% of the amount awarded to the injured worker.