How to Negotiate a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
The thought of a large payout often blinds people who have filed a workers’ compensation claim. Although it doesn’t always pan out that way, there are things you can do to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. The fact is, workers’ compensation settlements are made up of many different factors over and above the amount of money you will receive.
Negotiating the Unknown Future with Your Company
After a work-related injury, there are several things you will have to figure out that will lay out the road map for your future. Many of these unknowns have to do with your treatment and whether or not you can physically resume the activities and tasks associated with your job. One hard fact that many people have to consider is the fact that, depending on how your company handles your case, you may be treated differently if you choose to return to work. For many people, this is a real possibility.
Will I Still Have a Job after I Recover from a Work-related Injury?
One of the first questions you may have to ask yourself is whether or not you still have a job. Your employer may be forced to fill your position to maintain the day-to-day operations of the company. When it’s time to return to work, you may have to take a different job until your old one opens back up.
What If I Can’t Do My Old Job after I Recover from a Work-related Injury?
The extent of your injuries may make it impossible for you to perform the tasks associated with your prior position. If, for any reason, you can’t do your old job, one of the benefits associated with workers’ compensation is rehabilitation. This means that once you have fully healed, you can receive the training you need to take on a new role that will allow you to advance your career.
Do I Have to Undertake a Medical Procedure I Don’t Want?
Receiving the healthcare you need is essential. When you receive a work-related injury, your employers’ doctor may recommend certain procedures. While it is important that you can do everything you can to further the healing process, it is up to you to choose the treatment plans you are most comfortable with.
How Soon Will I Receive a Settlement Offer from My Employer?
After you visit the doctor and have received a diagnosis and treatment plan, you will more than likely receive a settlement offer from your employer. Once you have a treatment plan in hand, you can estimate how long it will take you to heal and how long you will have to maintain your treatment plan. Will you be able to return to work after six months, or will you need to consider a long-term recovery that lasts several years? Your settlement will be based on those factors and will be offered in a very short amount of time.
Understanding Maximum Medical Improvement and Its Impact
Maximum medical improvement is the term that is used to indicate you have reached the maximum state of healing. Even if you are as healthy as possible after following your treatment plan, you may not be back to your original state of health. After a severe injury, you may lose a percentage of your mobility and may even suffer long-term consequences that impact your quality of life.
Role of Disability and Impairment Ratings
Disability and impairment ratings are used by both the employer and the employee when determining a settlement amount. At the same time, disability ratings indicate how an injury will affect how easy it is for you to earn a living. The higher your rating, the more you will receive for your disability. This type of rating has to do with the loss of function of a body part when it comes to impairment. Impairment ratings are associated with permanent injuries, but these injuries do not hinder your ability to perform your job.
The Impact of Whole Person Impairment
If the workers’ injury affected several parts of their body, then a whole person impairment rating is required to establish the disability level and its impact on their future earning capabilities. Every injured body part is given a distinct rating based on the severity of the injury. Sometimes, they combine the percentages to decide the overall impairment percentage suffered by the worker’s body. Some states utilize the whole person impairment as a factor to determine the duration for which the injured person will receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Independent Medical Examination by a Third-Party Medical Professional
An independent medical examination is performed by a third-party medical professional. This ensures that there is no bias on behalf of either party. In most cases, an independent medical examination is called for when either party has a dispute with a doctor’s original diagnosis of an injury or if they have questions about the disability or impairment rating offered by the patient’s doctor. Because the independent medical examiner has no ties to either the employee or the employer, their final ruling will bear a lot of weight when it comes to influencing the judges’ final decision.
Negotiations Related to a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Both the employer and employee have the right to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement that will benefit them. Negotiating the financial benefit is only part of the equation. You will also be negotiating whether or not you will be returning to work and if it is even possible for you to return to your old job. With severe injuries, you may be required to choose a different job that will allow you to return to work and still be productive. If you choose another position, you have the right to receive the training you will need to be efficient in your new job.
How Do Workers’ Compensation Hearings Work?
Workers’ compensation hearings involve both parties, a mediator, attorneys, and possibly a judge to oversee the proceedings. During these hearings, both sides will present their cases and explain what they feel is needed. They will also put forth what they believe to be a fair and equitable hearing.
The Final Decision
With all of the information and documentation collected, the case will be turned over to a judge who will finally decide your case. Both sides will have the right to appeal the judges’ decision. When you deal with a workers’ compensation case, you don’t want to go alone in front of a judge. Call our insurance professionals at Remland Insurance Services, Inc. We have the answers related to the workers’ compensation settlement you are looking for to get your life back on track.