Workers Compensation Settlements: How To Get The Amount You Deserve.
Workers Compensation Settlements: You Can End Up With Everything the Law Allows, or You Can End Up Disappointed. Here's what you need to know.
Today, Personal Injury and Workers Comp lawyer Scott D. DeSalvo helps you understand the factors that go into calculating the value of a Workers Comp settlement.
If you have been involved in an injury at work, or have a Workers Comp case, this video will provide you with the information you need.
Did you know that 3.5 out of every 100 employees will be injured on the job? But all too often, people miss out on the worker’s compensation settlements they’re entitled to. This can be for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s because they don’t think they have a case.
Maybe they know someone who has been dragged through the mud on a long case. However, fair is fair. If you’re injured on the job (any job, anytime) your employer likely shoulders at least some of the blame and you’re entitled to compensation.
And this is how you make sure you get it.
The 5 Important Steps to Getting Workers Compensation Settlements
This is going to be one of the most stressful times in your entire life. You will go through a lot of pain, physically and emotionally. However, if you can keep looking forward and follow these steps, you will greatly increase your chances.
Call a Lawyer
You need to start here, always. Call the same day, if you can, or have a loved one call on your behalf. Of course, you may immediately be scared. “That’s a big step. Can I even afford a lawyer?”
But you don’t have to worry about that. Many quality lawyers offer free case assessments to people, at absolutely no charge. You can sometimes do it over the phone or online if you can’t be there in person.
See a Doctor
This is also massively important. For example, you may have hurt your back before and remember that it took you about 3 weeks to recover. But only a trained medical professional can really tell you the extent of this injury. Maybe you need 6 months to recover.
You have the right to choose your doctor. You don’t need to go see one that your company advises that you go see. If you’re more comfortable with your regular doctor, it’s your right to go see them.
Write down as much information as you can. This will be invaluable to you and taking notes has helped countless people ensure their fair workers compensation settlements. Make detailed notes on every single thing you can, like:
- The date and time of the incident
- Who was there to witness it?
- What were the conditions like? Was it hot, was it noisy, was it rainy?
- What first aid were you provided and who administered it?
- Who from the company questioned/interviewed you about the incident?
- What questions did they ask?
- Was a union rep present (if applicable)?
- What forms or documents were you asked to complete?
- Were any promises/ offers/ threats made to you following the incident?
These are all questions you will probably get asked at some point, so it’s good to get them in ink.
Stick to Your Story
You were there. Nobody had a better seat to witness the incident than you, so your account of what happened is the most important. Don’t let anyone try to change your words or your story.
Too often, shady companies may try to put words in your mouth to make it seem like it’s your fault. They may try to get you to agree to things like:
- Would you say you were driving too fast?
- Were you too tired because you skipped your break?
- Didn’t they warn you that could happen during your training?
Or they may insist that you may not remember things properly because you were struck in the head, or things happened so fast. Never let anyone discredit your story. This is a popular tactic for companies that are trying to avoid any culpability or workers compensation settlements.
Don’t Sign or Agree to Anything
Things can move really quickly after a workplace injury and some companies will try to use this to their advantage. They know you’re probably overwhelmed, facing possible time off and medical bills.
So they may offer you something right away to try to keep this out of the courts. They may offer to pay your medical bills and give you a lot of paid time off. This can be a big red flag that your employer is trying to avoid any and all workers compensation settlements.
We know this offer is right here in front of you right now, for the taking if you want it. And a settlement can seem like a long time away. You’re worried about paying the bills and supporting your family right now.
But speak to a lawyer and a doctor first before you agree to anything.
How Much Do People Get For Workers Compensation Settlements?
There is no singular answer to that. Nor is there a magic number per injury, like a concussion is worth X amount or a slipped disk in your back is worth Y.
But here are some recent workers compensation settlements:
- A construction worker from Staten Island received $1.5 million for an eye injury
- A nurse was awarded $200,000 for a fractured pelvis
Your employer cannot assess how much your injury is really worth, even though they will try. They may insist they’ve seen this before and to trust them. They may even say that going through the courts will be “bad for everyone.”
Only a doctor can diagnose how severe your injury is and you shouldn’t trust any numbers you hear, until you speak with a lawyer. You also can’t really predict the amount that your possible medical bills will cost you.
Your settlement is based on your hourly rate and how severe and permanent your injury is. Those are complex factors and only a good Workers Comp lawyer can investigate and give you an idea.
Maybe you will need multiple surgeries, or physiotherapy, or even a personal support worker to fully recover from your injury.
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