So one of the “big lies” that the insurance industry and the Chamber of Commerce likes to say is. “people are cheating the system” or that Worker’s Compensation is some sort of a “welfare payment.” Nothing could be further from the truth. People do not want welfare.
First of all, in Pennsylvania you only get 2/3 of your wages up to some kind of maximum. The maximum varies and usually if somebody is at the maximum they are earning far far more on their job than they could possibly receive in Worker’s Compensation. And most of us live up to our limit. We save very little.
So to say that somebody wants to lose everything that they have worked all their life for, they want to lose their house. That they want to risk perhaps losing their family over it which happens. They don’t want to get better. It’s ridiculous. It happens in the very rarest of cases. So it’s not, it’s a lie. But it is a big exaggeration. People want to get off Worker’s Compensation. The last thing they want to do is sit home and suffer the ill effects of an injury and from a social standpoint you are really not looked within any great favour from your neighbours if you are sitting home and working. They want to know what’s wrong with you.
Let me continue with the story of J_H_, my client. We had this client J_ H_. He trusted the insurance company. He trusted them so much that he let their doctor operate on his knee seven times and my guess is that that doctor would have operated on him till the cows come home or I guess fully got the operation right trying to fix his knee and all he did was make it worse and worse and worse. He got to the point where he could hardly even walk, but what was even worse was he was feeling less than a man and he was depressed from all the pain and the inability to get back to work.
He was a young man a young vital vibrant athletic black guy who had all sorts of opportunities outside the workplace which all of a sudden were shut off. And not only that he was, his life actually was in danger living in the neighbourhood that he lived as an injured human being. He actually felt like he was an injured animal and he was subjected to the predators in his neighborhood all because of the Worker’s Compensation doctor, all because he trusted the Worker’s Compensation doctor. It’s a big mistake.
So what happened with J_ was we finally were able to go to the Worker’s Compensation Board and persuade them to approve the psychological care he needed and he recovered. And the settlement that we were able to get for him because of this – for the most part he had lost the use of his leg, was enough for him to start his life over.
Now was he able to work as a laborer? No he wasn’t but he was able to improve himself, get himself a little more education, build up his confidence with the counseling he got from a psychologist and a psychiatrist who were interested in his welfare, not the insurance company’s welfare. He made a new life for himself.