Evey once in a while we’ll be asked to give a speech about a complex topic. When we find ourselves in this situation, we need to proceed carefully. These types of speeches have a lot of information that we need to convey to our audience. How we go about sharing this information with them will be critical because we want them to retain as much of it as is possible. One approach is to take the complex topic and then break it up into a series of smaller pieces that our audience will be able to digest. As an example of doing this, let’s take a look at 8 things that your audience should know about workers compensation settlements.
Every 7 seconds an employee gets injured while performing their job. These injuries stem from a variety of factors but no matter the cause, the result tends to be being unable to work.
If you’ve never been injured at work before and now find yourself unable to perform your duties due to injury, take comfort in the fact that you have rights. Employers are required to carry insurance which ensures you disability payments. You may even be able to get premium workers compensation settlements depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
To learn more about your rights and what you can do to maximize the money that you receive for living expenses, here are eight things that you should be aware of.
1. You’re Entitled to a Safe Work Environment
Employers are never allowed to compromise on the safety of their work environment. This is true even if they’re straight forward about their job site’s shortcomings.
State and federal governments have strict sets of safety standards that must be adhered to no matter the cost. If your employer doesn’t comply with regulations and you’re injured as a result, you could be entitled to substantial damages not only for your injury but for your employer’s negligence.
2. If You’re Injured, You Can See Any Doctor
Even if your employer has insurance (which is a legal requirement) it’s in their best interest for a doctor to waive off your injury so their insurance premiums don’t go up. This has led many employers to suggest that injured employees see a particular doctor that tends to be unsympathetic to workplace injuries.
You do not have to accept your employer’s doctor recommendation and frankly, you shouldn’t. You are legally allowed to see any doctor of your choosing and should seek out whichever one you feel will give you the most favorable diagnosis.
3. Second Opinions Could Save Your Case
Medicine is a more subjective field than people give it credit for. What one doctor sees as a bruise, another might diagnose as an injury that could lead to irreparable trauma if not managed immediately.
For that reason, if you end up seeing a doctor that routinely undermines workers compensation settlements, see another one. There are no rules as to how many doctors you can see for a diagnosis.
4. It Never Hurts to Talk to an Attorney
Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying you as little money as possible. That interest, for obvious reasons, directly conflicts with your interests.
To make sure that you’re not getting low-balled, have a lawyer give you a consultation on your workers comp claim. You may find that they can get you significantly more money than you’re being offered.
Sometimes, just the presence of a lawyer can make insurance companies more aggressive in their offerings.
5. Your Entitlements Can Exceed Tangible Expenses
Getting a settlement from your employer isn’t just about reimbursing your medical bills. It’s about ensuring that you’re financially secure today and well into the future.
These intangible expenses typically fall under the “pain and suffering” umbrella.
For example, how much earning potential is your injury going to cost you over the course of your lifetime? Did your injury leave you with anxiety that’s making it impossible for you to work in your trade any more?
You and your attorney can review those questions and come up with a settlement amount that captures your long term needs in addition to any immediate expenses that you incur.
6. Insurers May Need to Pay You Temporary Disability Benefits
Even as you and insurers discuss the gravity of your workers compensation settlements, depending on where you live, you may be entitled to compensation within three weeks of being out of work.
Your lawyer can help you understand whether or not you qualify for immediate, temporary relief as your case is being discussed. They can also share any implications of collecting that relief so you don’t accidentally undermine larger settlement’s your pursuing.
7. Going to Court Can Maximize Your Compensation
Insurers never want to go to court when it comes to workers compensation settlements. Neither do people like you.
That’s because trials can be arduous and juries are unpredictable.
Despite the fact that it would probably behoove you to handle your compensation claim outside of court, if you’re forced in front of a jury, it could be worth your while. Favorable results in court cases often pay out much more than settlements do.
8. Benefit Windows May Apply
Depending on the state that you live in, you may not be able to live off of worker’s compensation money past a certain point. Talk to an attorney to see if your state has caps on worker’s compensation collection windows.
If your state does, you and your attorney may be able to adjust your approach to ensure that you can maximize the collections period that you have available to you.
Receiving Great Workers Compensation Settlements Hinges on Getting Help
There are a lot of variables when it comes to workers compensation settlements. In order to maximize your claim, our best tip is to get advice from an attorney.
Legal consultations on these matters are usually free and just a few minutes of your time could increase your settlement amount by thousands of dollars.