The Art of War is one of the most successful books on military strategy in the world. It was written in China 2500 years ago by a man named Sun Tzu. It has influenced eastern military thinking, as well as the strategies of Napoleon, McArthur, and Operation Desert Storm.
A great deal of the book emphasizes outwitting your opponent so that physical combat is unnecessary. Consequently, it has become a teaching tool in the business world, as well.
What’s War Got To Do With It?
From the moment that your injury report is filed, you are doing battle with your employer’s insurance company. Your employer is not obligated, nor inclined, to be your advocate. In fact, your employer has insurance so that it can remain uninvolved when workplace injuries occur.
We have dealt with many insurance companies over the years, and it has become clear that just like Napoleon, General McArthur, and every Toyota Motor Corporation executive, they have read Sun Tzu’s book. Here are a few examples:
Tactics. . .
Sun Tzu taught that victory via full-on battle is undesirable because of lost soldiers and spoils of war that are spoiled by combat. Instead, win the day without shedding a drop of blood by moving quickly and by engaging an unprepared enemy.
Insurance companies do this by quickly sending an adjuster to talk to you. The adjuster will often tell you that you do not need a lawyer and that lawyers are an unnecessary expense. They offer to quickly start your weekly payments and to approve your medical bills. This early intervention is designed to prevent you from seeking legal advice.
The Sheathed Sword. . .
Victory comes from breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. The insurance company knows that they can wear you down by delaying weekly benefit payments, constantly requesting more medical information, questioning your doctor’s orders and denying bits of your medical bills, and making it difficult for you to reach them with questions.
If you give up on the claim, take what you have gotten, and return to work (albeit in a reduced capacity), they win. And you leave benefits that are rightfully yours “on the table.”
Laying Plans. . .
Sun Tzu held that all warfare is based on deception. Keep that in mind when the friendly insurance adjuster shows up to “help” you. The insurance company has contracted him or her, even if the business card says otherwise.
The adjuster’s job is to make you feel secure and comfortable, so that you will not ask too many questions about the rights and benefits to which you are entitled.
Espionage. . .
Sun Tzu warned that true victory comes only with foreknowledge. Without spies, generals will achieve victory accompanied by heavy losses of people and resources. The advent of YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, e-mail, text messaging, and cameras on every cell phone makes espionage a cinch.
Insurance companies gather information on your medical history, as well as your current activities, and present the information to their best advantage, not to yours.
If you or someone you love has been injured in the course of employment, you are engaged in a conflict. You can enter the battle on your own or with the advice of a team of seasoned professionals. We have read the book, too. We are here to help.
Don’t let the insurance company deceive you!
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