One of the common issues before and Administrative Law Judge at an Oregon Workers' Compensation hearing is "penalties." An injured worker, or their attorney, will request that penalties be awarded for an employer's unreasonable resistance to compensation. In order to prove that a claim denial was "unreasonable," the injured worker is faced with having to prove that the insurance company did not have a legitimate doubt about whether the claim was valid.
Unfortunately, what is considered a "legitimate doubt" makes a very difficult for a Claimant to obtain penalties. Just about anything under the son is considered to be a "legitimate doubt." However, once in a while, an insurance company will go so far that penalties are issued.
Insurance companies are quick to issue press releases documenting fraudulent behavior from Claimants. Unfortunately, Claimants are more concerned about getting access to medical care, and getting back to work then issuing some press release about an insurance company railroading their claim.
Maybe it's time that we report unreasonable claim practices on a more regular basis.
If you have a question about a workers' compensation carrier and its unreasonable behavior, call us at 503-325-8600. We deal with these issues every day.