by Kenneth A. David, Esq.
It is a rather regular occurrence that a claimant may file a claim against the wrong carrier (insurer) or TPA (servicing agent). What to do? First, it may or may not be the fault of the claimant’s attorney but the Board generally requires that the claimant’s attorney makes the correction. Employer, insurers and servicing agents cannot make the changes unilaterally. Before contacting the claimant’s attorney it is best to know the correct insurer/serving agent. It is rare that a claimant’s attorney will dismiss a party unless there is another to replace it. It is even rarer for that attorney to do the extra work to get it right while your company remains on a hearing notice. You may already know who the correct party is. If not, you can research this information at the State Board website www.sbwc.georgia.gov.
To find the correct insurer, click on the link to verify an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. To find the correct servicing agent, go to the ICMS tab and click Insurers/Self Insured Employers/Group Funds with the associated TPA. The problem is that at employer may have multiple insurers listed and almost certainly an insurer will have multiple servicing agents listed, but this is at least a start. If you are an employer, check your panel of physicians – at the bottom your insurer/servicing agent should be listed. For the TPA, ask the employer to check the panel. For employers, get your broker to help. You can also write to the judge to state you are not the correct party and that you have provided that information to the claimant’s attorney. That may result in the judge calling the claimant’s attorney. Some judge’s secretaries will help you if you call but they are not required to do so. The last step is to retain a defense attorney to file a motion. Certainly, this is something you would prefer not to do, but claims have gone all the way to hearing with an award issued against a party that should never have been in a claim.