The ABRAMS LANDAU trial team went to Richmond on behalf of a disabled client who was underpaid by the workers compensation insurance company. In a decision handed down this month in this multi-state plane crash case, the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission judge ruled that:
An employer is not allowed to unilaterally stop payment of compensation without filing an application [when the claimant is under the protection of an Award].
This is true even if the employer’s insurance company thinks it overpaid or is due a credit. Herndon Reston disability and injury lawyer Doug Landau asked that penalties be assessed against the insurance company. The judge agreed with Landau and assessed a 20% penalty on comp that was more than 2 weeks overdue. The insurance company was also ordered to reimburse the claimant for his mileage “within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 60 days from the date of the request.” This case reinforces the importance of being under the protection of an open Award and of timely submitting requests for reimbursement, as insurance companies and their lawyers will delay and drag matters out in the hope that the claimant will give up, forget, die or take less money. And let’s not forget, the insurance companies make money the longer they get to hold on to the premium dollars collected from employers that they have then placed in their reserves.