New bill would change how workers' compensation claims work in Arizona

House Bill 2455's title indicates it's designed to change how workers process their compensation claims, keeping the insurance companies honest and keeping workers from going after money they don't deserve. 

But opponents to the bill said it takes all the rights away from the workers and gives insurance companies even more power.

"I actually don't remember the accident," Robert Sawyer said.

Sawyer was hit by a drunk driver while he was working as a truck driver in August 2011. His injuries on the job have kept him from fully doing his job ever since.

"I had shoulder damage, my hip was damaged, my knee. My finger was disconnected, so they had to sew my finger, reattach it," he said.

Robert said he's still fighting with the insurance company to fix his shoulder.

"They said I had a seven millimeter tear, so every time I raise it up it pops out of place," he said.

His lawyer has a strong opinion about HB2455.

"I think it would have made Bob's situation even worse than it is," Kevin Wein said.

Wein said right now now, if the workers' compensation insurance company doesn't pay up, the worker can sue and have a judge and jury decide the case. He said if the bill passes, that would all change.

"The entire bad faith action would now be in what's called the Industrial Commission of Arizona," Wein said.

He said the bill is bad news for workers.

"There is no repercussion for the insurance company, they simply get away with it, scot-free," Wein said.

ABC15 reached out to the bill's sponsor, we haven't heard back yet.

Arizona has come up with a first of it's kind website, allowing you to weigh in on bills making their way through the state legislature.

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