Workers comp denied my claim: the stories all sound the same. Herniated disks, paralysis, lung cancer, broken limbs, head injuries: people all across the country are suffering, in debt, and helpless. The sheer number of claims that have been denied over the silliest technicalities is gut-wrenching. “Workers compensation.” Just the name is intended to fool you into thinking they are on your side. If you are a worker looking for compensation, you need to be aware of these five deceptions that can rob you of your rights.

The Five Lies You Will Be Fed

workers comp denied my claim1. Workers Comp is on your side. The insurance company is not. Despite the name, it is an organization made to undermine, wear-out, and, often, threaten your claim. In most states, the fine print often outweighs the bold. What you see and what you hear are just a distraction from the fact that you are a liability to them.

2. You are at fault. This is the most insidious and basic lie. It’s easy to make you feel guilty for wearing heels instead of flats, or worn-out sneakers instead of work-boots. Why did you bend over and help your coworker pick up that heavy window? The roads were slick, and so it is clearly the truck driver’s fault that his 18-wheeler flipped and he ended up paralyzed from the waist down. He should have known better. “Workers comp denied my claim,” chorus the injured, hard-working masses.

3. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, a work-related aggravation of pre-existing conditions is fully covered. It is far too easy for me to pop a disk at work, and just watch as workers comp denied my claim shouting ‘Pre-existing Condition!’ In much the same way, smoking might give you lung cancer, yes. However, working in close proximity to asbestos (smoker or non-smoker), is much more likely to give you lung cancer. You have to be aware of the law, and not be deceived by employers or “adjusters” trying to bully you out of staking your claim.

4. The Judge is always just. Judge’s actually have the ability in Pennsylvania to deny a worker’s claim based on ‘credibility.’ This decision can be completely divorced from all relevant facts. This means that if your pattern of spending, the clothes that you are wearing, or your hairstyle strike a judge in the wrong way, he or she can deny your claim. And then there are bribes and big corporate promises. Suffice to say, don’t place your trust in a fair and balanced judge deciding your case. You might not be lucky enough to get one.

5. Hiring an attorney is a waste of time and money. When workers comp denies my claim, the first thing I should do is call an attorney. The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act is well-defined, but far from clear. The nuances of legal jargon are easily drowned out by a small one-time “go away” peace offering. Don’t be distracted or overwhelmed by all the smoke and mirrors;contact an attorney today. They will help you with the appeal process, and insure your rights are upheld.

Your rights are important—they are what America was built on.

Get an attorney; get justice.