Everyone’s (least) favorite company, AIG, has been denying and delaying claims from military contractors injured in Iraq, ABC News reports. AIG, which has received nearly $100 billion in public money and has paid out nearly $54 billion to various investment banks, has denied requests for a wheelchair, eyeglasses and a prosthetic limb for John Woodson, “a man who lost a leg, an eye, and 70% of the vision in the remaining eye while working as a contractor in Iraq.”
Another claimant, Preston Wheeler, has repeatedly had AIG ignore his requests for a CAT scan to determine if he could have a bullet removed from his arm. In its defense, AIG issued a statement declaring the “vast majority” of claims are “paid without dispute when the proper supporting medical evidence has been received.” Working with New York workers’ compensation lawyers, I know how difficult it can be for claimants to secure the benefits they are legally entitled to.
AIG’s is a repulsive system where the financial needs of irresponsible investment banks are attended to with much greater care and attention than the physical needs of people injured fighting their country’s wars. Sadly, even insurance carriers less infamous than AIG employ many of the same tactics to avoid paying claimants what they are due.
Simple claims that should be resolved quickly are stretched out for months, even years. In New York, a workers’ compensation attorney can cut through a lot of the red tape and insulate claimants’ from much of the frustration that the system breeds. They can help their clients navigate a broken system and promptly get them the care and compensation they need to start getting their lives back on track.