Did you know that head-related injury claims are the most costly, with an average cost of $92,439 per claim?
Workplace accidents are quite common. While some industries are riskier than others, every worker is prone to danger at work. The injury source could be vehicle-related, falls and slips, burns, strains, cuts, and so on.
When the accidents happen, the injured can always get workers’ compensation settlement if they follow the right claim application procedures.
This guide will explain how the compensation settlement process works. Go through it to know what you should do or expect in case you sustain a workplace injury.
More on the Workers’ Compensation Process
The compensation settlement processes are unique in every state. But generally, the process starts when the accident occurs.
When the accident happens, you should notify your insurer immediately. The insurance agents should review your application according to the evidence you provide.
Suppose they agree with the evidence provided, the agents should mention the amount you should get as compensation. At times, the workers’ comp may be low than what you expected.
Like the other firms, insurance companies aim at making the most profits. So don’t be surprised when they mention a low settlement amount. You can either agree to it or refuse it.
You can deny it in two main ways:
- In writing, request the insurance firm to increase the amount, citing reasons you think the settlement amount is not enough
- Initiate a lawsuit
The lawsuit is more effective than writing to the insurer. However, you must work with a seasoned compensation settlement lawyer to help you get the highest compensation.
Note that there are many lawyers, and you must be keen when finding the best workers comp lawyer for your case. The ideal attorney should be conversant with the settlement procedures and should also be friendly to work with.
Expenses Covered by the Workers’ Compensation Settlement
The settlement can cover many things, depending on your state and the types of injuries you have sustained. Here are the main expenses which the compensation can cover in your case:
As mentioned, a great lawyer can help you get the highest settlement. But you don’t get the lawyer for free. You can write up all the costs you incur by hiring a lawyer to receive compensation for that cost.
There are two main types of disability payments: partial disability and permanent disability payment. The partial disability settlement applies when you have lost a vital organ, such as a toe, which reduces your productivity.
Total disability is applicable when you have incurred severe damages such that you can’t continue with work. You can receive the amount as a lump sum or as small monthly payments.
These are the costs you incur in the hospital. The expenses include the ambulance fees, the medicines you took, the medical examination, and so on. You should keep receipts of the medical costs to receive the most compensation amount.
Future Medical Expenses/Surgeries
Do you have any future medical appointments? If yes, then you should not spend any money from your pockets. The settlements should cover all the future costs that you will incur.
You can’t continue with work if you have sustained severe injuries. Luckily, you can get a compensation settlement for all the wages that you should have received during that period.
For instance, if you stay at home for ten months, the settlement should provide income for the ten months. The compensation may not be equal to your monthly salary, but it should at least cover 75% of what you always get at work.
Workers’ Compensation Amount
There is no exact amount for the worker’s compensation settlement amount. The amount entirely depends on many factors regarding the case. Here are the main factors affecting the possible settlement amount:
The Lawyers’ Expertise
You stand a higher chance of getting a better amount if you work with an experienced attorney. The experienced lawyers have excellent negotiation skills that help you get great deals.
The experienced lawyer can also help you gather the right evidence that you need to strengthen your case. To get the highest amount, select your lawyer carefully.
What kind of injuries did you incur? The injuries range from mild to severe. The compensation settlement is always high in severe injury cases. This is because the compensation must cover the high medical costs, the lost wages, the therapy costs, etc.
Note that the physical injuries always have a lower compensation than the emotional damages. This means that the workers who experience trauma or mental issues get higher amounts than those with physical wounds.
Nature of the Job
High-risk jobs attract the highest compensation. For instance, if you have a construction firm, your job is risky, and you can get a higher amount than a person with the same injuries working as an office receptionist.
Nevertheless, the other factors matter too in calculating the possible amount you should get.
Time Taken for the Workers’ Compensation Settlement
There is no specific period for receiving the structured compensation settlement. The exact period depends on the lawyer you are working with, the claims application, and other factors. However, compensation should take place within 24 months.
You can reduce the time taken by attaching the right evidence, hiring a great workers’ compensation attorney, and making the proper follow-ups on your case. You can also report the injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as it happens so that they don’t deny it in the future.
Seek Professional Help
Have you been injured at work and you don’t know what to do? Has your insurance company denied offering you a timely workers’ compensation settlement? If yes, then you need professional help.
You can get help from an experienced lawyer or any other person who has handled a similar case to yours.
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