Workers’ compensation is meant to protect workers who are hurt on the job. Employers pay into an insurance policy that workers use when they’ve been injured. Normally, the process is smooth, and there are few issues. However, unscrupulous insurance companies can build a case against the injured worker. When this happens, it may be necessary to fight these entities in court.
Seguro-Suarez v. Key Risk
Mario Seguro-Suarez was working on a job site when he took a tumble in 2003. Suffering a major head trauma, Seguro-Suarez went into a coma. Suguro-Suarez eventually awakened, and his doctors discovered that he had suffered permanent physical and mental damage. Of course, he filed for workers’ compensation.
What followed was a whirlwind of litigation and criminal charges from the insurance company, Key Risk. Over the next eleven years, Key Risk allegedly attacked Seguro-Suarez. They spied on him and made several accusations against him. They claimed his injuries were exaggerated and accused him of fraud. Seguro-Suarez was arrested several times. Whenever Key Risk attempted a new way to accuse Seguro-Suarez of lying, doctors concluded that his injuries were, in fact, genuine.
Eventually, Seguro-Suarez’s legal team took the fight back to his accusers. The courts reprimanded the police who arrested Seguro-Suarez, and they granted him permission to sue his employer and the insurance company. The charges included malicious prosecution, conspiracy, and bad faith.
Denial Based on Discrimination
The U.S. has many laws to protect workers from discrimination. Major legislation includes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA). Each protects a certain class or need. Employers cannot discriminate based on age, illness or disability, or the need to care for sick family members. The REDA protects against another form of discrimination, that of an employer taking revenge on employees.
These laws also apply to workers’ compensation. In the Mario Seguro-Suarez case, his employer and the insurance company were allegedly guilty of breaking many of these laws, especially the REDA.
Workers’ Compensation Protects You
Workers’ comp is generally used to help pay for medical costs and lost wages, but it also offers compensation if your claim was mishandled. If you were in a situation like Seguro-Suarez, you could receive additional benefits for your mistreatment. Workers’ comp offers protections against abuse of process, malicious prosecution, mental distress, and unfair trade practices.
If you’ve been mistreated by your employer or an insurance company, reach out to our office today. Your initial consultation is free. Call us at (714) 909-2609, or contact us online.