If you have been injured on the job, your employer very likely provides you with a valuable benefit that is available to you from day one and at no cost. Workers' comp is meant to pay your related medical expenses and give you a certain portion of your usual salary while you stay home and get better. The hope is that after a few weeks, or, in some cases, months, you will be well enough to return to your job and your workers' comp benefits will end. This scenario does not always play out that way, though, so read on to learn more about what could happen instead.
Initial Benefits and the Next Step
As mentioned above, the workers' comp insurance carrier, and your employer, wants you to get better and return to work in a timely manner. From the insurance carrier's viewpoint, the sooner the better, since they are paying for your time off and medical costs. With that in mind, you should understand that the carrier probably has a very good idea of how much time off you will be needing based on your particular injury.
If, for some reason, your doctor does not release you to go back to work in a given amount of time, the carrier may request that you undergo a special type of medical exam to provide them with more information about your medical condition and how likely you are to return to work. The results of this exam sometimes mean that you have an injury that is not expected to show further improvement; in other words, a permanent injury.
The workers' comp insurance carrier will offer you a settlement that should provide enough money for you to replace your income for the remainder of your life. It may be lump sum or it may be in monthly or weekly payments. Be sure to secure the services of workers' comp attorney to ensure that the amount is going to be sufficient to cover you.
The Quickie Settlement Offer
A new trend is emerging, however, that can trip you up and lead to disappointment. Insurance carriers are now contacting work related injury victims and offering them a settlement right away. The amount is always lower than you may need, since the implications of a long-term injury are not always apparent at that point. The allure of easy and quick money is tempting, but a careful examination of your medical condition could make you realize that you might end up being disabled for life, and the amount offered just won't cover you. Once you accept that check, you cannot go back and get more money.
Speak to a workers' comp attorney as soon as you can, and make sure that you don't accept a quickie settlement. Contact a firm like Freedman, Wagner, Tabakman & Weiss to learn more.Share