Michigan workers comp lawyer posts commentary on Accident Fund’s decision to deny workers comp benefits for Joplin tornado survivor.
I recently came across an article from Yahoo News describing how a survivor of the Joplin tornado was denied workers comp benefits. This was one of the worst tornados in US history and killed 162 people.
Mark Lindquist was a social worker responsible for taking care of developmentally disabled adults. He was seriously injured when the Joplin tornado struck the group home where he works. He was in a coma for several days and racked up over 2.5 million in medical costs. It was miracle he survived as he was tossed nearly a block by 200 mph winds.
Accident Fund denied his workers comp claim even though his injuries occurred while he was at work trying to save the lives of three men with Down syndrome. Accident Fund denied benefits “based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public” at the time he was caught in the Joplin tornado.
Who pays his medical bills?
Lindquist could not afford health insurance and has no way to pay his medical bills. People around Joplin have been donating, but it is not nearly enough to cover his medical expenses.
When insurance companies deny valid workers comp claims, employees have no choice but to find other ways to get medical treatment. Sick and injured people don’t just go away.
Some individuals are forced to use Medicare or Medicaid because they have no other option. This shifts the burden from the responsible workers comp carrier to the taxpayer.
Stop insurance company abuse
Most people are outraged when an insurance company refuses to pay a legitimate workers comp claim. Insurance companies always find creative ways to deny benefits.
Insurance companies must be held accountable to pay benefits for legitimate workers comp claims. You can stop workers comp abuse by challenging a bad decision in court.
Lindquist has the option of challenging the Accident Fund’s decision in the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation. This should be done immediately. Unfortunately, a legal battle will cause him even more hardship while he waits for a decision.
To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.
*Update: Accident Fund relents to public pressure and will pay workers comp benefits.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.