A workers’ compensation offer is the amount of payment that an insurance company offers to employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims. Many employees have workers’ compensation insurance coverage through their places of employment. This coverage provides compensation in the form of medical expenses and partial lost wages for workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will evaluate your claim, place a value on it, and make you an offer of compensation.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insurance companies paid out more than $45 million in workers’ compensation claims in 2018. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so their primary goal is to reduce the payment of claims by any means possible. As a result, you can expect that the first workers’ compensation offer that you receive will be inadequate in many cases.
The Structure of Your Workers’ Compensation Offer
Your worker’s compensation offer can be in the form of weekly or other periodic payments or a one-time lump sum. Although benefits under workers’ compensation programs vary under state law, most workers’ compensation awards include:
● Payment of reasonable and necessary medical expenses
● About two-thirds of your lost wages, subject to different laws that may cap the amount of weekly benefits or allow a larger percentage of your wages
The offer amount will involve consideration of whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled and partially or fully disabled due to your work-related injuries. For instance, if you can perform light work duties for a reduced number of hours per week for six weeks and then return to your regular full-time job, you likely will receive a lower workers’ compensation offer than if your injuries make you permanently disabled and unable to even return to work.
The severity of and prognosis for your injuries also can impact the amount of your workers’ compensation offer. For example, if you will be off work for six months, your offer is likely to be higher than for someone who will return to work after six to eight weeks of medical treatment and rehabilitation. Suppose your injuries are likely to necessitate significant medical treatment in the future or cause you to become permanently disabled. In that case, you may be eligible for a higher worker’s compensation offer.
Legal fees also can be a part of a worker’s compensation offer. Since we handle workers’ compensation cases with no payment by you upfront, we receive no fees until you get paid. As part of settlement negotiations, you can ask that your workers’ compensation offer cover your necessary legal expenses.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-959-1444
Turning Down a Workers’ Compensation Offer
You do not have to accept the first workers’ compensation offer that the insurance company for your employer offers you. You also do not have to accept any other workers’ compensation offer. Before accepting any offer, you should be sure that it is sufficient to meet your needs and a full and fair settlement of your claim.
If you turn down a workers’ compensation offer because you do not think it is adequate or fair, you and your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance adjuster to reach an offer that is agreeable to both sides. While you want a fair offer covering all the expenses and losses arising from your work injury or illness, the insurance company likely wants to pay as little as necessary to settle your claim. While you are concerned about paying your medical bills and other needed expenses, your insurance company is mainly concerned with making a profit.
Although some workers’ compensation claims go smoothly and result in a full and fair offer right away, other claims are not so successful or easy. Although it can be tempting to accept the first offer you receive so that you have immediate money to pay your bills, taking this step may not always be the best thing for you and your family. Instead, taking the time to weigh each worker’s compensation offer’s pros and cons is likely to allow you to make an informed decision.
Contact Our Offices Today to Learn More About Your Options
When you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, the workers’ compensation system in your state may provide you with the financial benefits to assist with your medical bills and time off work. The attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and determine whether a worker’s compensation offer is sufficient. Together, you can work toward an offer that fully meets your needs stemming from a work-related accident or illness. Call a team member at (800) 603-4224 and take the first step toward obtaining all benefits for which you are eligible.