Workers’ compensation benefits play an important role in the lives of workers who get hurt on the job in Arizona. Workers depend on those benefits to cover their medical care and to survive financially as they recover from their injuries. Many workers never fully recover and require permanent benefits.
Unfortunately, even after the Industrial Commission of Arizona determines a worker is rightfully entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, an employer and/or its workers’ compensation insurer may still try to delay, deny, or otherwise unreasonably handle the claim. However, if this occurs, the worker may be entitled to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation bad faith insurance claim.
What Does Bad Faith Insurance Mean in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A bad faith insurance claim is a civil lawsuit. It arises when a worker suffers harm from the unreasonable actions of the employer and/or insurer that is legally required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to the worker.
You may be surprised at how often it occurs. Some examples of bad faith insurance practices in Arizona workers’ compensation claims include:
- Trying to force an injured worker to accept an unreasonably low settlement offer (and often by misrepresenting the facts or law)
- Refusing to pay a valid claim without explanation and/or justification
- Unreasonably delaying paying benefits or providing medical coverage
- Stopping medical benefits or lost-income benefits without explanation and/or any lawful reason for the termination
- Withholding benefits from a worker who appeals a claim decision
If a reasonable insurer would not have engaged in the type of practices which have caused harm to an injured worker, those practices may very well amount to workers’ compensation insurance bad faith.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Arizona
If you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices in the handling of your valid Arizona workers’ compensation claim, you could seek damages through a bad faith insurance lawsuit. Through the lawsuit, you could seek damages that cover the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits you are due. You could also seek damages for the harm caused by the insurer’s bad faith handling of the claim, including any physical harm or emotional distress stemming from the insurer’s unreasonable denial or delayed payment of your claim.
What is the First Step to Seek Compensation?
If you believe you are the victim of bad faith insurance practices by your employer and/or its workers’ compensation insurer, you should seek help from an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Under the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation bad faith insurance claims in Arizona, a worker generally must file a claim within two years from the date when the bad faith act occurred. So, it is crucial to take timely action. You don’t want to miss this deadline and risk being barred from recovering compensation.
Get Help from Our Workers’ Compensation Bad Faith Lawyers
At Matt Fendon Law Group, we fight to protect the rights of injured workers who have been harmed by workers’ compensation bad faith insurance practices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, Prescott Valley, and across Arizona. If you believe your workers’ compensation benefits have been unreasonably delayed or denied, contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.