In a workers’ compensation case, the defense will do everything it can to show the injured worker in a bad light. One of the most common ways of doing this is by labeling the worker a ‘malingerer’.
A malingerer is one who exaggerates the severity of his or her injuries in an attempt to remain out of work for longer than necessary. It may be argued that the worker engages in this behavior in order to increase the value of his or her claim, to continue obtaining certain benefits, or to continue receiving prescription drugs.
Any accusation of malingering is serious and must be countered right away. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will help an injured worker by obtaining independent medical reports showing that his or her injuries are real. Those who choose to represent themselves may not know how to rebut a claim of malingering, and may as a result return to work too soon or accept a low settlement offer.
Often, a claim of malingering arises after an insurance company enlists the services of one of its favorite doctors to examine the injured worker. It is important to remember that this is only one opinion, and may not be accurate. The findings of the individual’s primary care physician, especially if they have treated the injured worker for a number of years, will often be given greater weight. Past medical records can also be useful when arguing against malingering. If an employee was rarely sick or injured in the past, or recovered in a normal amount of time, it makes it more likely that their current complaint is legitimate.
Any workers’ compensation claim involves a number of pitfalls that must be avoided if the injured worker is to get the compensation he or she deserves. The attorneys of Murphy & Garner, LLC, have over 32 years of experience serving those injured in the workplace in western Georgia and the surrounding area. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 866-942-0552 or 678-563-1584.