There are several ways that you may be able to maximize a workers’ compensation settlement. Make sure to clearly document every expense that you incurred as a result of your injury and get evaluated by an independent medical examiner to document your injuries. In general, the sooner that you start the process, the better. If you wait to report your injuries to HR or to start the workers’ compensation process, it could leave questions as to why you did not file a timely claim if you were injured.
Tips to Maximize a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Be sure to understand and follow your employer and state guidelines for reporting a workplace accident, injury, or illness. This includes the timeframe required for reporting, as well as following the appropriate channels for reporting an injury. If you need to report injuries directly to HR, you could end up jeopardizing your case if you only report your injury to your boss or co-workers.
As soon as you can, it is important to seek medical attention and to carefully comply with your healthcare provider’s instructions for recovery. If you get medical attention but do not follow the doctor’s advice, this lack of compliance could be cited as why your injuries became so severe. For your health and your workers’ compensation case, it is often better to follow the instructions and necessary precautions from a physician when it comes to medical orders.
Next, you should try to schedule an appointment with the office of an independent medical examiner that your employer chooses. This independent doctor can objectively support that your injuries are real and worthy of workers’ compensation benefits. You can still compare notes from the independent medical examination against the documentation from your personal physician to ensure that the findings align.
Throughout the process, maintain records of everything, including summaries of conversations that you might have and receipts for payments you make. You should create a physical file, as well as a digital backup of all documentation. You can keep the digital file in a secured cloud-based storage that you can access anywhere. This data can be helpful to establish the true cost of recovering from your injuries.
Lastly, consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer before making a statement to the insurance company, if possible. You do not want to give a statement that limits your workers’ compensation claims. Anything that you say to the insurance company can be used against you, so it is important to have a good understanding of what you need to say to be the most accurate and clear.
Criteria for Workers’ Compensation
Eligibility for workers’ comp depends on your status as an employee. States can have different laws and requirements for certain types of employees, as explained by The Balance Small Business. To receive compensation, you must be able to prove that:
- You are or were an employee of the organization.
- You were injured on the job, either during a one-time incident or as part of a recurring risk.
- You suffered financial losses related to your injuries, including medical expenses and/or lost work compensation.
This list highlights some of the general criteria for receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on your employer and the state the case is in, there could be additional criteria in place for workers’ compensation programs. For instance, some situations require you to reach a settlement within a certain amount of time. Federal employees can have different laws regulating compensation for on-the-job injuries (Legal Information Institute).
If you have any questions about whether you could be eligible for compensation related to a workers’ compensation claim, you can discuss your questions and concerns with a workers’ compensation lawyer. In most cases, initial consultations are available at no cost to you.
Understanding Your Rights
During the workers’ compensation process, you have rights. You are not required to put money into the plan to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you are not a full-time employee or if the employer illegally pays you under the table without reporting it to the IRS, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim for your related injuries. It is also your decision to pursue legal action. No one has the right to push you into it.
Call Us to Discuss the Details of Your Potential Case
If you are interested in potential ways to maximize a workers’ compensation settlement, the methods and techniques can vary based on the many factors of your case. You can have a lawyer review any settlement offers before you sign any documents or verbally agree to the terms of the settlement so you can make an informed decision. You need the settlement to cover all of your related expenses, now and in the future. It is not a good idea to agree to a settlement that is less than this amount. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 603-4224 for a free consultation to speak with a member of our legal team to make sure everything is in order.