An injury-causing accident can upend your life, and the hardships it brings are bad enough without adding exorbitant medical bills into the mix.
If you’ve recently experienced a mishap that’s resulted in an incapacity to work, filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you take care of pressing expenses and make ends meet until you’re able to get back on your feet. But some payouts go a lot farther than others, and in the end, your financial fate is in the hands of an insurance company that knows nothing about you or the difficulty you’re now facing.
How can you make sure you get the money you need from your settlement?
Partner with a workers’ compensation attorney
Attorneys specializing in handling workers’ compensation claims earn their livelihoods by helping injured parties seek financial reparations. As such, no one is more qualified to get the law working in your favor.
Even if you don’t plan on pursuing more aggressive litigation, you can benefit by having a lawyer look over your case and offer their expert advice. Like those at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, personal injury attorneys can help you better understand your case and the options available to you. Not to mention, these legal experts will help you maximize compensation should you decide litigation is necessary.
File your claim right away
It doesn’t pay to delay when it comes to getting the most out of a workers’ comp settlement.
Most states have laws specifying that claimants must report their injuries within 30 days for their claims to be recognized as valid. Once that time has passed, you have little chance of winning your settlement and receiving much-needed assistance.
Don’t put off taking legal action until it’s too late. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the more seriously the insurance company will take your case, and the more compensation you stand to collect.
Seek immediate medical treatment
It’s essential to get checked out by a doctor at your earliest convenience. Not only will getting treatment give you relief from painful symptoms, but it will also underscore the unignorable urgency of your condition.
During your initial examination, be prepared to relay the circumstances of your accident in vivid detail, including when, where, and how it occurred and the ways it’s affected your day-to-day life since.
Do your best to provide a thorough, honest account of what happened. The insurance company will be scrutinizing your case closely, and the last thing you want is to have your claim denied because the particulars of your story keep changing.
Apply for supplemental income benefits
Once you’ve contacted an attorney, reported your injury, and seen a doctor, your next task will be to see if you qualify for supplemental income benefits.
Supplemental income benefits replace a portion of the wages you’ve lost due to your inability to work. In some cases, they can amount to as much as 100% of your regular salary. Depending on the laws where you live, you may be eligible to receive replacement wages on top of the sum you’re awarded as part of a successful settlement.
Getting approved for supplemental income benefits will emphasize the severity of your situation to your employer’s insurance company and force them to reckon with the potential repercussions of not offering assistance.
Get a permanent impairment rating
Workplace injuries can take many forms. For this reason, doctors typically assign variable impairment ratings to patients injured on the job. These ratings indicate how severe an injury is and how long its debilitating effects are likely to last.
All disabilities fall into one of two broad categories: temporary or permanent.
For obvious reasons, permanent disabilities promise more significant overall compensation than temporary disabilities. Workers who have a permanent total disability may be entitled to replacement wages for life in the worst-case scenario.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to file away every last piece of paperwork you accumulate in connection with your case.
This documentation includes the findings of your initial medical examination and subsequent doctor’s visits, billing statements for ongoing treatment, and any correspondence with your employer and their insurance company. If you’re not sure whether a particular item is essential enough to hold onto, err on the side of caution and add it to your records.
That way, you and your attorney will have access to your complete case history at all times and be able to verify crucial details in the event of a dispute independently.
You don’t have to let a work-related injury take any more from you than it already has.
By working with a trustworthy personal injury lawyer and taking steps to build an ironclad case, you can maximize your workers’ compensation settlement and secure your future.