When you’ve been injured while working, you may be entitled to your workers’ compensation settlement from your company. But to maximize the value of your settlement, it’s important you learn more about the process and about the steps involved. Our team has decades of experience helping clients settle workers’ comp cases. In this new post, we’ll explore the questions to ask about your settlement case.
What Determines My Settlement Amount?
In considering your workers’ compensation settlement, one of the first thoughts you might have is about the final amount. It’s important to determine the settlement amount, and the total you’ll achieve when the entire process has been completed. Numerous factors will be considered when calculating your workers’ compensation settlement. These factors include:
- The paycheck that you would be receiving if you were working
- The seriousness of the injury
- The medical treatment that you will require into the future
- How your injuries might impact your ability to work
In reviewing each of these factors, a settlement will be discussed with your company, and a final amount will be agreed upon.
Can I Sue My Employer or Coworker?
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer or coworker for injury or illnesses suffered as a result of their negligence. You can only apply for your workers’ compensation settlement to pay for your lost wages and medical bills. However, if a defective product lead to your injury, you might be able to sue the manufacturer directly. And if an assault committed by your coworker caused your injury, you may be able to pursue a separate civil claim.
What Are My Options if the Claim is Denied?
If your claim to a settlement is denied, you have many options available to you. It’s important you contact a workers’ compensation lawyer directly to learn more about these options and to devise the ideal strategy to address your claim.
By denying your claim, the insurer is stating they should not have to pay for your medical care and that any injuries you have suffered are not their responsibility. You may then file a claim with the industrial commission so that your claim can be heard in an open court. This process will require extra time, but it’s important that you utilize this option if the insurance company is not open to settling your claim through the traditional workers’ compensation settlement processes.
When Should I Settle?
One of the most critical questions to address when reviewing your case alongside your workers comp attorney is “When should I settle my claim?” Your attorney can help you answer this question when they know the circumstances of your claim and the background of your working history with the company.
Often, it’s recommended that you have completed all treatments before you pursue a settlement, as this will provide the judge overseeing your case with a full view into your medical costs and the hardships you’ve faced during treatment. However, it’s important you speak with a local workers’ compensation attorney before determining the timeline for your case.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Knowing how long the process will take can prepare you for the months ahead both mentally and financially. There are many financial burdens associated with a workers’ comp case; for example, because you’re now out of work while you await your settlement, you may be running out of savings. Having a full understanding of the timing of the process will give you a clear mind about the steps to take.
In most cases, your attorney can provide you with a reference guide for the timing of the settlement process. However, once you agree to a settlement, the process is clear cut. You will have your agreement signed by your attorney and by the attorney for the opposing side, a process which may take a week or two. The agreement must then be approved by a workers’ compensation judge, which can take as much as two weeks. Once the judge approves the settlement, it will take approximately 30 days before you receive your check.
How Much of the Final Settlement Amount Will I Receive?
That is an important question to consider for those looking to maximize the money in their pocket after the settlement has been finalized. Your attorney should make sure that any medical expenses are paid for either by the insurance company or included within the workers’ compensation settlement, and so medical care might make up a significant portion of the payment.
You should always ask for the final amount after the attorney’s fees have been deducted. That will help you ensure you understand the final amount due to you. By working alongside your attorney, you can discuss the final settlement and determine how best to allocate the resources provided. Getting a solid figure in mind will ensure that you’re not under significant mental stress as you go through the process of recovering from your injuries.
Should I Settle the Case if I’m Being Pressured by the Insurance Company?
Often during workers’ comp settlement cases, the injured party finds that they are subject to immense pressure from the insurance company to settle their case. The pressure can often lead to those with strong cases simply settling their case just to stop the pressure from impacting their life. If you are unsure about how the injury will impact you in the long term, you should not feel any pressure to settle your case.
If you do find that the insurance company is asking you to settle, make sure you mention any communications you have with the insurance company with your attorney. Your attorney can advise you on response and protect you from having any further pressure placed upon you.
Only by employing a trusted and experienced Greenville, SC workers comp attorney can you ensure you gain access to a fair settlement in your workers’ compensation case. To learn more about this process, contact The Clardy Law Firm today.workers comp attorney