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Workers' compensation fought with extreme measures by an insurer

Many workers spend all of each day concerned for their safety. Construction workers, emergency service personnel and other people in dangerous professions face larger hazards than office workers or delivery people. More than half of workers' compensation money in the United States annually goes to members of the top five most dangerous industries.

Property owners, lessees of business real estate and managers of public spaces in North Carolina often carry insurance to protect their assets against claims for personal injury or other forms of liability. These policies often come into play if an injured person feels the need to sue for financial damages, but some insurance companies can push back.

The employer of a man who suffered an 18-foot fall onto a concrete floor in Lincolnton agreed that he suffered a disabling brain injury that qualified him for workers' compensation. The construction company's insurer agreed but then allegedly went to extraordinary lengths to stop payment. Medical opinions were ignored for 15 years while the insurer fought payouts in court.

After the court ruled on the worker's behalf, the insurer apparently hired an investigator to try to prove the injuries were fake. The worker was even thrown in jail on spurious suspicion of insurance fraud, but charges were dropped with a telling-off from a Lincoln County judge.

"I have seen some outrageous abuses of the system by insurance companies, but this is the most outrageous," said a lawyer representing the injured worker. Although insurers may follow through on their commitments, a lawsuit may help shift their position. Ask an attorney about the benefits of a personal injury lawsuit.

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