If you have recently suffered an injury at work or gotten diagnosed with a work-related illness, you might need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Whether you had to call your health care insurance company to figure out why they wouldn’t cover the cost of your care or your employer’s attorney reached out to ask you some questions because they self-insure, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the way that insurance and legal professionals talk.
It can be nearly impossible to understand someone who works in law or the insurance system if you don’t have previous experience with making a major claim or the legal system.
In a way, they are speaking a different language
Whether you work in construction or at a manufacturing facility, the chances are good that there are certain terms and abbreviations that you and your co-workers use frequently on the job. You may have nicknamed a piece of machinery or created an acronym to describe certain job responsibilities.
The specialized language that you use to communicate with others in your profession is jargon. The more specialized a field is, the more jargon people have to learn in order to communicate effectively.
Both law and insurance have large amounts of jargon terminology that may confuse or frustrate those unfamiliar with these specialized terms. In fact, there are so many jargon terms in law that it has its own specialized dialect, known as legalese. Simply put, lawyers and insurance adjusters often are speaking in a different language because the words and terms they use have specialized meanings you may not know.
Some people intentionally use jargon to manipulate
Your understanding is crucial to the outcome of a significant workers’ compensation claim. If you don’t understand what information you have to submit or how to prove the impact of your injury on your work responsibilities, you may have a much harder time getting the benefits and supports you need.
A lawyer representing your employer or an aggressive adjuster for a private insurance company might intentionally speak over your head or try to confuse you as part of their negotiation strategy. They might also choose to ignore you and refuse to return calls or emails.
Working with your own lawyer during a workers’ compensation claim can help you avoid pitfalls that stem from misunderstanding and intentionally confusing communication from professionals that would prefer you don’t complete your claim. Additionally, having a lawyer help will mean that you have someone ready to fight on your behalf after an unfair denial or low settlement offer.