If you have been hurt while working on the job, there's one question you may find yourself asking: "How much is my workers' comp case really worth?"
The Factors That Determine Your Workers' Compensation Case Value
There's no real easy answer to that question.
No lawyer can promise you a definite amount of what your workers' comp case is worth, but there are many factors that go into the value, including:
1. Average Weekly Wage
The starting point to determing the value of your claim is to examine your average weekly wage and compensation rate.
2. Your age
A younger persons claim can be worth more. Age is a huge factor in medical care, a big cost in every worker's compensation claim. People under 22 earn wages that increase as faster rates than older people's wages, which is considered when determining value.
3. Your personal injuries
More severe injuries can increase the value of a claim. Make sure to report all injuries to your doctor and accept light duty if it is offered to you.
4. When you reported the accident
You have 30 days after the accident occurs to report it to your supervisor. Verbal notice is acceptable, but written notice is more effective.
5. The estimated cost of future medical care and treatment
Educational history is an important factor in determining the possibility of permanent total disability.
7. The likelihood you will recover
8. Overall work history
This can determine if you are capable of performing your duties, and how employment has affected your ability to work
In addition to these factors, there are individuals and entities that an experienced workers' compensation attorney should be familiar with:
1. The insurance company the claim is with
2. A claims adjuster
3. Any defense attorneys
4. Compulsory medical examiners (CME)
5. Judges of Compensation Claims (JCCs)
6. Expert medical examiners (EMA)
Do I Need to Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Should I Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer?
An insurance company may attempt to approach you with a small settlement, hoping that you're desperate enough to accept it.
You may want to consider avoiding those attempts and talk to an experienced workers' compensation attorney first. They may be able to help you prepare what you need for your case and give you a better understanding of what your workers' compensation case is really worth.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Workers' compensation cases are usually taken on a contingency basis, meaning they don't require payment upfront. Instead, you are allowing the attorney to collect part of the settlement only if your case is successful.
No matter the value of your workers' compensation claim, there are laws which place limits on the legal fees that an attorney can collect for representing your case.
If you really want to know the value of your workers' compensation settlement, then you may want to consider consulting with an experienced attorney for workers' compensation. An attorney can help prepare you for the possibility of your case going to trial by preparing witnesses and taking depositions of doctors and all medical experts related to your case.