Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

“To protect and serve.”

Police Officers are a different breed; we are “Type A” personalities that rarely ask for help as it could show others that we are weak. We are always told by our peers to “suck it up” if we get hurt at work. But sometimes the injury is so painful, that you have to report it.

Dealing with a Workers Comp Insurance company is a total nightmare! Insurance Companies like to cut corners and save money where they can. Even though I am being “treated” for my injury and its slowly getting resolved; you need to understand that Insurance Companies are slow for a reason and that reason is to save money. I’ve heard a lot of Workers Comp horror stories over the years and I know things could have been a lot worse.

This is not the full series of events because that would be too long to write.

I am sharing parts of my story with you so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

I was out of work due to a knee injury that occurred on duty as a Police Officer. I’m not going to get into the details of how the injury happened, but it did happen and I immediately reported it to my supervisor.

My supervisor drove me to Urgent Care and I was rolled in on a wheel chair as I could not put any weight on my leg (I knew something was really torn up)… I was seen by a Doctor and had X-Rays done.  I was prescribed Ibuprofen and they wrapped my knee up in an ace bandage and started my discharge paperwork. 

PAY ATTENTION as this is one of my first mistakes I made!

Read all of the paperwork before you sign anything!

My paperwork stated that I could return to full duty status as soon as I walked out that door.  But I was in pain and wanted to get home so I signed it WITHOUT reading it.

After I signed the paperwork I was given a copy and THEN I read the part about going back that day to full duty. I challenged the doctor on it and they would NOT change the paperwork.  (I guess cops can run on one leg now)

My supervisor gives me a ride home and gets me in my house so I can rest.

This is my second mistake!

As soon as I got home; the phone calls from various people started coming at me non-stop (Human Resources Dept, Your Co-Workers, Claims Adjusters for the Insurance Company (Workers Comp), Nurses that work for the Insurance Company (Workers Comp), and so many more.

DAY 1: Get a notebook and DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!

You NEED to take detailed notes from Day 1 of your injury because it will be hard for you to recall everything from memory weeks or months later. 

Things to document:

Date, Time, Caller’s Name, Caller’s Company, Phone Number, Reason for the call, and notes about what was said during the call. 

The reason you NEED to take detailed notes is because if you are not being treated correctly or your claim is denied for some reason. You will need to hire a lawyer.  (I didn’t need to contact a lawyer, but I could have been more prepared if I did)

Some things to remember when talking on the phone with anyone regarding your Workers Comp Claim… They ARE DOCUMENTING everything. 

The insurance company typically has two people assigned to your case, the claims adjuster and a nurse.  I mainly spoke to the nurse and I really believed she was concerned for my wellbeing, but I am confident that she WAS documenting everything I said.  A simple question “How are you feeling today?” and if I responded “Doing a lot better” it could help them deny the claim.  My usual answer to that question was “I’m still here”.

Conclusion: I was out of work for over 6 weeks and had surgery on my knee.

This is not legal advice; this is simply some of the things I should have done better in my situation.

Just to Recap:

 DAY 1: Read all paperwork BEFORE you sign anything!

DAY 1: Get a notebook and DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!

Y’all be safe!