I have come to believe that the work comp system is rigged and is being subverted by the very people that are supposed to represent it - work comp
litigation law firms. The Governator here in Caleeforneea, has promised to do something about it, but he is on the wrong track. He is targeting the
wrong aspects of the system, employers, workers, and work comp insurers.
The real problem with work comp lies (and I do mean lies, lies, and more lies) with the law firms that represent the workers, employers, and insurers.
Each firm is allowed, under current legislation, to represent both sides of the claim. Not for any one individual case, but what difference does it
make? Its called conflict of interest, and it has compromised the entire system. Instead of work comp lit firms serving as watchdogs for the system
and protecting the rights of employers and injured workers, they are the fox guarding the hen house, getting fat off stolen chickens while workcomp
insurance rates skyrocket, forcing good companies out of business, and injured workers languish in pain, sometimes for years, while they are fed
disinfo, outright lies, and many times forced to compromise their claims out of financial and personal desperation, at which point the system jumps on
them and tries to put them in jail.
This is obvious to anyone who has ever been seriously injured at work, like I have. That was three years ago, and at this point I am facing complete
financial ruin, I'm in constant pain, the diagnostic procedures that could lead to definitive care for my injury have been blocked, my attorney keeps
making assurances he can't back up, and the only option I'm being offered is an implanted Morphine pump or electro-stim device. Meanwhile, the
pittance of a disability benefit I am paid is often late in coming, making me late on my billing cycles, piling on the fees, threatening my ability to
remain in my home, and forcing me to consider bankruptcy.
The other culprit in this scenario is the medical establishment. Not doctors themselves, per se, but definitely medical groups and pharmaceutical
companies, and don't forget the lobbies. Who is making the laws that perpetuate this situation? You got it, more lawyers. Who is funding the ones
making these laws? There you go, more lawyers, working as lobbyists. Who is reaping the benefits while employers go out of business due to
astronomical work comp insurance rates, and honest injured workers continue to suffer in chronic pain and be wrongly accused of fraud born out of
desperation? What do you know? Its the lawyers, medical groups and pharmaceutical companies. The longer a case drags on, the more ill-gotten gains
they salt away. What a racket!
I know there are some fraudulent claims. They get all the attention and are wrongly tagged with causing the problems with the system. People who
fake injuries for financial gain should be prosecuted and punished. They are not, however, what is wrong with the work comp system. They are a
smokesceen and a scapegoat for all the lawyers getting rich off of playing both sides of the fence.
Mr. Governator, if there is one piece of legislation you could sponsor that would truly help reform work comp, it is a measure demanding work comp
litigation law firms represent either employers or injured workers, not both. As an injured worker mired in a failed system, I'm begging you.
As if you'll be able to get a bunch of lawyers and lobbyists to agree to that. Good luck to you, and to all the other injured workers out there like
me, desperate to recover from their injuries and return to work.
[edit on 6-7-2005 by Icarus Rising]