If you have been hurt while working on the job, there are several questions you may be asking yourself:
Do you have a strong case?
Is it worth it to hire a lawyer?
What benefits could you receive?
All of these concerns boil down to answering one question: "How much is my workers' comp case really worth?"
When it comes to figuring out how much your case is worth, you cannot rely on what a friend or relative’s case was worth, as each case is different and must be assessed by its own merits. While there is no definitive answer to how much a case is worth, there are specific factors that affect the value of a workers' comp case.
Here are a few criteria an experienced workers' compensation lawyer is going to look at to determine the value of your case:
- Your age
- Your education level
- Your personal injuries
- The likelihood that you'll physically and psychologically recover
- The estimated cost of future medical care and treatment if your injuries continue
- How much you earned at your job
- Your overall work history
There are other individuals and entities involved in your workers’ compensation case that you should be aware of and familiar with:
- The insurance company itself that the claim is with: deal with cautiously and consider hiring a lawyer
- A claims adjuster: deal with cautiously and consider hiring a lawyer
- Any defense attorneys: do not deal with - hire an attorney
- Compulsory medical examiners (CME): hire an attorney (you should already have one)
- Expert medical advisors (EMA): hire an attorney
- And Judges of Compensation Claims (JCCs)
Workers' compensation insurance companies aim to provide the minimum medical care the law requires and a certain amount of lost wages to you for your claim. That's why they may send you to one of the individuals and entities above, such as the CME and EMA, to evaluate whether your physical condition is as severe as you say it is. This is rarely a good thing.
Beware of small settlements
Insurance companies may attempt to approach you with a small settlement, hoping that you are desperate enough to accept it. You may want to consider avoiding those attempts, especially if you are not sure how much your case is worth. The best way to determine the value of your workers’ compensation claim is to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.