The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC March 2019

19 mar

Road to justice |

The Waiting Game

Why Those in the Wrong Love to Stall Justice

The English writer Walter Savage Landor once said, “Delay in justice is injustice.” Ol’ Walter lived until 1864, so it’s safe to say he never stepped foot in a modern courtroom. If he had, he would

probably have pulled his hair out. Delays, stalling, and similarly petty strategies are all too commonplace in the American justice system. We deal with

insurance companies, opposing lawyers, and those who think the best way to avoid losing a case is to make sure it never ends on a nearly weekly basis.

Let’s take personal injury cases for example. Claims for personal injury or property damage restitution have a three-year statute of limitations. You may not know the window is this short, but insurance companies certainly do. If they think they can string you along for the duration, they will. Believe it or not, there’s nothing stopping them from doing so. In South Carolina, insurance companies have zero obligation to act in a timely fashion. Sounds insane, and it is, but it’s true. Workers’ compensation cases can be even worse because they have two parties capable of stalling. As with personal injury claims, the insurance company involved has every incentive to pump the brakes on settling your case, but you may also encounter employers who don’t act in good faith either. As an aside, I just want to say how much it bothers me that employers act in accordance with their workers’ compensation insurers’ wishes at the expense of their employees. I pay for workers’ compensation insurance myself, and I can tell you that if one of my team members were hurt on the job, I’d be advocating on their behalf to the insurer. After all, that’s what I’m paying them for. However, sad as it is to say, not every business owner shares my view of the workers’ compensation process. Just recently, for example, we helped somebody who’d been injured in a situation that unquestionably fell under the purview of workers’ compensation. It was as cut-and-dry as they come, but that didn’t stop this person’s employer from taking advantage of him.

Not only did this employer not send his injured worker to the doctor but he also asked that the employee use his paid time off hours to recover. So the employee and his wife had to cancel their summer trip, spend all of their hard-earned time off, and still not get paid for the work they missed. What a racket! Odds are the employer was hoping he could delay a workers’ comp claim until the employee was well enough to return to work. The worst part is that many employers get away with using that deceitful strategy. Why do less-than-virtuous employers and bottom-line-minding insurance companies engage in tactics designed to frustrate and infuriate you? The answer isn’t much more complicated than

“because they can.” That’s why it’s so important to hire an attorney who will hold these parties accountable and not let them stall forever. You may not have the time to constantly push your claim forward and represent your interest, but that’s exactly what we’re here to do.

–Jim Snell | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 1

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