Adjuster, Nurse Case Manager, And Vocational Counselor

Three people for the defense play critical roles in the outcome of your workers' compensation claim. With 35 years of experience representing injured workers in Virginia, I am familiar with each of these three roles and how they can affect your claim. As your attorney, I will help you manage your relationship with these people throughout your case.

Adjuster

The claim adjuster works for your employer's workers' compensation insurance company. He or she is responsible for investigating the case and determining whether or not the insurance company will cover your claim. The adjuster will take your recorded statement about your accident and injury, get your employer's perspective of your situation, review your medical records, and decide whether to accept or deny your claim.

Nurse Case Manager

The adjuster may put a nurse case manager (NCM) on your case as a middleman between you, your health care provider, and the adjuster. The NCM may attend your medical appointments and could be helpful in getting medical care approved by the adjuster and scheduled promptly. But be careful because the NCM might try to get the doctor to release you to work before you are ready.

Nurse case managers can be independent from the insurance company, but their priority may just be to dispose of your case quickly and not see your recovery through until the end. I will coach you on how to handle your nurse case manager to help protect your rights after an injury.

Vocational Counselor

If the doctor releases you to light-duty work, but your employer cannot offer you a job within those restrictions, then the adjuster might assign a vocational counselor (VC) to your case. The VC will meet with you for an initial vocational assessment to discuss your education level, work skills, past job experience, resume, and light-duty restrictions. If authorized by the adjuster, the VC may begin job placement to find alternative employment within your light-duty restrictions.

The VC could require you to attend regular vocational meetings at a local library, submit weekly job applications, go to job fairs, participate in computer classes, etc. Failure to comply with vocational services may result in termination of your compensation payments.

The Attorney's Role

Dealing with the adjuster, NCM, and VC can be frustrating when they give you the runaround. As your attorney, it is my job to ensure that your needs come first in every aspect of your case, and that your doctor dictates your medical care, not the insurer.

Call my Richmond office now for a free consultation on how a lawyer can help your case at 804-554-3168 or send an email.