When it comes to settling your claim with an insurance adjuster, you need to consider many different factors and remember that you don’t have to settle. Never let anyone make you feel pressured to settle right away, and anticipate the fact that the insurance adjuster is going to try to do just that.
It’s best to have a skilled Miami workers’ compensation lawyer help you negotiate with the insurance adjuster.
Benefits of Settling a Worker’s Compensation Claim
If you settle your claim, you get the benefit of knowing that you are going to get your benefits without risking the possibility of losing at an expensive trial. Even if you win the trial, you may not receive a lump sum payment, but several weekly payments over time. You also get the benefit of payment for future medical care as you can include anticipated medical expenses into the settlement amount.
Structuring a Worker’s Compensation Settlement
The wording of the settlement agreement is very important. First, the worker’s compensation settlement agreement should provide for future medical costs. Also, the agreement should be worded in a way that, if you apply for and receive Social Security disability benefits, your Social Security will not be reduced because of your workers’ compensation settlement.
One of the most important things about your settlement agreement is going to be in the wording. You need to ensure that your Social Security benefits won’t be reduced because of the worker’s comp claim, and you need to discuss the details of your specific case with an attorney to ensure that your situation is resolved in the best possible way.
Seven Ways to Lose Your Workers’ Comp Claim
1. Work Without An Attorney
It is truly essential to have a professional attorney on your side when you’re dealing with the complicated and loop-hole-filled Workers’ Compensation Act. If you don’t have an attorney, the insurance adjuster is going to see you as an easy mark for a low settlement.
2. Work With An Unaggressive Attorney
Having representation is important, but it does you no good if that representation is unaggressive when they need to be to accomplish goals. You need someone aggressive who can get the insurance adjuster to back down and compromise.
3. Become Desperate For Quick Settlement
A Workers’ Compensation adjuster knows how to make you desperate. The Industrial Commission allows them to withhold checks without good cause, so they will do this to ensure that you really need the settlement and will settle early for a low amount. An attorney can put a stop to this.
4. Allow Hand-Picked Doctors To Decide Your Fate
An insurance company adjuster is allowed by the Industrial Commission to cut your weekly workers’ compensation benefits without notice if a doctor will send you back to work without restriction. The trouble is that they can handpick the doctors to ensure that they do just that.
5. Don’t Believe Myths About Attorneys Taking a Majority of Settlement
You are far more likely to get more than twice as much in your settlement if you use an attorney than if you don’t, and the truth is that your attorney shouldn’t charge more than 25%, so this myth is particularly harmful to many people. It is a myth that is spread by the adjusters and doctors to convince you to settle without using an attorney, for a much lesser amount than you deserve.
6. Accept Light Duty Work From Employer
If the employer can offer you light-duty work, the adjuster can put you back onto the company’s payroll quickly so that you no longer need to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Then, if the employer thinks of a reason to fire you, there is no longer an issue for the adjuster or the employer.
7. Allow Nurses and Vocational Rehab Counselors to Break Rules
Some rehabilitation professionals are actually hired by the adjusters to ensure that the costs are kept reasonably low, yet these professionals can charge as much as $85 per hour for this. The adjuster can save money though if the professionals are violating the Industrial Commission’s Rehab Rules to benefit the insurance adjuster.
How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
To determine the value of your workers’ compensation claim, you’ll need to incorporate several considerations, including the timing of the settlement. It helps to have an attorney on your side to work through this complicated process and determine what your claim is truly worth. You don’t want to make a mistake here because you can’t go back once you’ve settled your claim. Contact our Miami workers’ compensation lawyers today.
Related: What If I Had a Pre-existing Condition Before My Work Injury?