Workers’ compensation settlements are determined by several factors that are specific to each case. Cases involving severe injuries tend to have a greater payout because the losses associated with severe injuries tend to be greater. For example, medical expenses can increase with the need for months of physical therapy.
Examples of cases involving severe injuries include disfigurement, dismemberment, and disabilities. Both economic and noneconomic losses add up to determine what fair compensation would look like.
While this process seems relatively straightforward, problems can arise quickly. Determining liability in an accident may prove to be tricky, given the situation and the company that you are working with. Estimating fair recovery can also become complicated, and you do not want to risk any further losses due to your accident.
Fortunately, you have the option to get help from a lawyer who can manage how your workers’ compensation settlement is determined. A lawyer can help you calculate your real losses in order to seek fair compensation.
History of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation has been around in the United States since the early 1900s, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Workers’ compensation laws became more important in the United States because of widespread industrialization. As more workers suffered injuries while working with the new machines, legislators pushed for better protections for workers.
Every few years, states may change their laws to try to address existing problems while adapting to new workplace environments. The U.S. Department of Labor lists the links to each state’s workers’ compensation officials.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the applicable laws in your state that pertain to your case.
Types of Settlements
Every state differs on how they handle settlements, and negotiations could end in a variety of ways. There are generally five types of settlements, which include:
- Agreement settlements: Both parties agree to compensation and submit the agreement to the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for approval.
- Compromise settlements: When both parties cannot agree to a specific amount of compensation, the Commissioner can reach a compromise for them.
- Combination settlements: A combination of multiple types of settlements, which is usually reserved for cases where specific things must happen for different parts of the agreement.
- Contingent settlements: Each part of the agreement is triggered by a specific action. It is reserved for cases where other organizations like Medicare or Medicaid must approve the compensation terms. If the events that trigger the settlement terms do not happen, the agreement is void.
- Lump-sum payments: The payout is made in a single large installment or several large installments.
Regardless of which type of settlement applies in your case, you have the right to have a lawyer review the agreement. This can help you ensure that you seek the compensation that you deserve.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Workers’ compensation programs are designed to help workers and other financial obligations when they are injured at work. When you are injured at work, you will have medical bills and possibly other expenses to deal with.
On top of that, and injury to keep you out of work limits how much money you can earn. This only makes the financial problems worse. Workers’ compensation programs can provide monetary compensation to help you handle these expenses and get the medical services that you need to fully recover and get back to work.
Every state except for Texas mandates that employers must have a workers’ compensation program. It is created and managed through insurance companies, which means that your payments for the workers’ compensation program will come from the insurance company.
Your company has a process for filing claims which may or may not be easy to do. You can also have legal support from a lawyer throughout the process to ensure that your needs are addressed. A workers compensation attorney can help you understand all the terms, provisions, and limitations you might face along the way. They will also explain your state’s regulations regarding filing workers’ compensation claims, waiting times, potential issues (claim denial), and more.
Filing a Claim
The processor filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is relatively straightforward but can vary slightly depending on what state you are in. The first step in the process is to seek medical treatment. When you are able, report the injury to your employer using whatever methods your employer set up. Your employer will contact the insurance company and the insurance company will take over the handling of the case.
Some companies make it difficult to file for workers’ compensation benefits by making the process reporting injuries convoluted and difficult to manage. There is a limited amount of time that you have to report your injury, which is different for every state. As soon as you are able, contact a lawyer for assistance in handling your case. This can eliminate many of the problems related to filing for benefits.
Call for a Free Consultation
Dealing with workers’ compensation settlements can be difficult on your own, especially if you are still trying to recover from your injuries. Consider hiring a lawyer to help you through the process. There are factors that go into how workers’ compensation settlements are determined, which will require extensive work on your part to ensure that your situation is accurately represented.
Ask a lawyer about your case to see the best way to address the situation. Call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 603-4224 for a free consultation about your case.