You want to work and feel a sense of satisfaction that your labors are adding value to your employer’s products, but when you are injured in a job-related accident, you may need time away from work to recuperate and to heal your injuries. Your injuries are covered under your employer’s workers compensation insurance, but do you know the full value of your workers compensation claim? If you accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company, you may be selling yourself short.
In South Carolina, the value of your claim is based on an “impairment’ rating and how your impairment affects your right to earn a living, your work history, whether you have skills that can be utilized in another position, your pay rate when you got hurt, the nature of your injury, and the current or future medical treatments that you will need. An insurance company might try to argue that any one of these factors or a combination of two or three of them should reduce the overall value of your claim. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help you to fend off those insurance company claims and to increase the value of your award.
Consider, for example, how your ability to work would be affected by a work-related back injury. Even after surgery and therapy, you might recover only 80% of your pre-injury abilities, leaving you with a 20% permanent impairment. An insurance company might argue that you have other skills and that your employer can give you new tasks and duties. If those new tasks and duties reduce your ability to earn bonus or overtime pay, your claim will likely have a higher value than the insurance company is willing to give you in its initial assessment.
You might also need long-term therapy to alleviate pain and stiffness in your back, but the insurance company will probably ask you to accept a settlement agreement that cuts off your right to payments for future medical services. You need to exercise extreme care whenever you receive a proposed settlement agreement from an insurance company. If you are not careful, you may be signing away significant future benefits that you are entitled to receive.
The attorneys at the Clardy law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, have extensive experience with workers compensation claims and in helping injured workers to receive the largest possible workers compensation settlements. If you have suffered a work-related injury, please contact us to schedule a consultation on how we can help you to maximize the value of your claim.