When Will Workers Comp Offer a Settlement? | Find a Work Injury Lawyer Near You

Whether you work on construction sites or in a downtown office on the 99th floor, all employees run the risk of sustaining a work illness or injury. Although some professions face a greater risk compared to others, that doesn’t mean employees in “less risky” jobs should have their workers’ compensation cases neglected or devalued. In case of an injury while on the clock, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical costs and lost wages. These benefits often come through regular workers’ compensation insurance that is covered by your employer’s insurance company. But what if you receive an offer for a lump sum settlement instead?

Questions that this article can help to answer:

How Soon Will the Insurance Company Offer a Workers’ Comp Settlement? 

If you are awaiting a workers’ comp settlement offer, it’s imperative to understand the factors in play. From an outside perspective, workers’ compensation settlements might sound enticing. For example, you receive one lump sum (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars), which you will then use to help pay for your medical costs and lost wages. You get to pocket anything that might be left over. It might sound like a great offer; however, these offers always warrant a second look and the opinion of an experienced workers’ comp attorney. 

Reaching a Workers’ Comp Settlement  

Suppose an employee has fully recovered from their illness or injury and has returned to work without any remaining bills or unpaid benefits. In that case, their workers’ compensation claim can be closed. However, sometimes a claim requires a negotiated settlement between the injured worker (and their attorney) and the insurance company. 

This process usually starts with the insurance company and the employer making an offer for payment to the employee. Depending on the type and extent of the employee’s illness or injuries, the settlement offer might include payments for: 

  • Unpaid benefits or medical bills 
  • The costs of any necessary future medical treatment 
  • A disability award if the worker is permanently impaired 

Types of Workers Compensation Settlements

There are two types of Workers’ Compensation settlements. They are: 

Lump Sum Payment

A single payment for all medical costs and benefits the employee claims. In some states, the injured worker may have to agree not to pursue any future compensation related to the same injury. 

Structured Payment

The settlement monies are divided into scheduled payments over a specified amount of time. A structured settlement might include a separate medical account to pay for any necessary future medical care. 

How Is a Workers’ Comp Settlement Determined? 

Before agreeing to a settlement, the employee and their lawyer should calculate what they believe the claim is worth. It should at least be enough to cover past medical care and future medical costs for the injury. Other factors that can impact the settlement include: 

  • Medical bills 
  • The need for future medical treatments, including surgery or physical therapy 
  • Previously lost wages or future wage loss 
  • Temporary or permanent disability payments 
  • Attorney fees 
  • State workers’ compensation statutes and restrictions 

Once the calculation is finalized, the employee and their attorney will negotiate with the insurance company. The final settlement is frequently a compromise between the insurance company, employer, and the injured employee under the advisement of their attorney. 

It’s a common requirement in many states to have a workers’ compensation judge review each settlement before it’s finalized. Although the judge will consider if it is fair to the employee, it is still in the employee’s best interest to have a workers comp attorney on their side to protect their rights. 

How Much Should a Workers’ Comp Settlement Be Worth? 

Calculate Workers Compensation Settlement

Workers’ compensation settlement amounts are typically based on what the case is likely to cost the workers’ compensation insurance company if the case fails to settle. Most of the time, the insurance company wants to reach a settlement before you get to the point of what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Once you reach this point, you will likely have a good idea of your future medical expenses, which means you will have a better idea of what your case is really worth. If the insurance company can get you to accept a low workers comp first settlement offer, they will most likely pay less for your claim. That’s wonderful for them but terrible for you.  

Workers Comp Settlement Amounts

How Long Do Most Workers’ Comp Settlements Take?

The truth is that it varies. For claims involving relatively minor injuries, a workers comp settlement offer letter won’t take as long. However, it can take longer for those with severe or catastrophic injuries. What’s more important than how long it takes to receive a settlement, is that you are receiving a fair settlement

While you may be relieved to receive an early settlement offer, it’s not always in your best interest to accept an early offer. Here are three instances in which a longer case settlement may be beneficial:

  • Concerns about paying for medical bills
  • Unable to go to work
  • Affording medical expenses related to your injury at work

An Early Settlement Doesn’t Necessarily Mean a Fair Settlement

In fact, it is never in your best interest to accept an offer without discussing your case with a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced attorney will have a pretty good idea of what a fair settlement should be in your case. They can let you know if you should settle at this point or hold out until you receive a better offer or reach MMI.  

You should also keep in mind that waiting until most or all of the anticipated benefits you can receive have been paid out will make the value of your case lower than it could have been if settled earlier. 

How Do I Find a Labor Lawyer Near Me? 

If you have questions about work injury lawsuit settlements or other aspects of a workers’ comp claim, 1-800-THE-LAW2 has a network of local attorneys with answers. You can find an experienced labor lawyer or workers’ compensation lawyer near you by completing our online form for free consultation. Once submitted, a licensed workers’ comp attorney in your area will call you within ten minutes to help you with your workers’ comp case. 

You can also give us a call for FREE legal consultation. We are open 24/7. 

What Happens If an Employer Does Not Report an Accident in a Timely Manner?

Getting hurt at work or suffering a work-related illness or repetitive use injury is serious business. You know it is, and your employer should see it that way too. In fact, the law instructs them to do so by setting specific requirements forth for them to follow. It’s your responsibility to report your workplace illness or injury to your employer as soon as possible. However, some workers don’t make a report right away because they didn’t notice their injury initially or didn’t think their injury was severe enough to warrant making a report. 

Questions this article can help you answer:

When Should You Report a Workplace Injury? 

Any workplace accident or injury should be reported to your employer as soon as possible. Since doing so is a crucial step in any potential workers’ compensation claim, it shouldn’t be skipped. If you report your injury, it turns out to be mild, and you don’t want to pursue a workers’ comp claim, you don’t have to. It’s better to report the injury or accident and not need the report than not to report it and have missed a critical deadline or step. 

How Long Do You Have to Report a Workplace Injury?

Workers’ comp laws and guidelines vary from one state to the next and even between employers, making it imperative to report accidents and injuries as soon as possible. Some employers even have a 24-hour deadline. If you don’t make a good faith effort to report what happened as quickly as possible, your employer or their insurance company can say that your injury didn’t occur at work or wasn’t work-related.  

For instance, suppose you hurt your back by lifting heavy boxes at work. You’re in pain, but your injury doesn’t seem serious at the time, so you don’t report it to your employer. Your pain becomes more intense within a few days, and you have difficulty moving around. You go to your doctor and are diagnosed with a serious back injury that requires time off of work. In that case, your employer or their insurance company may deny your workers’ comp claim because the incident wasn’t reported immediately. 

What About Overuse Injuries? 

Some injuries occur over time and don’t arise from a one-time incident or accident. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, can occur due to overuse and repetitive movements of the hand and wrist at work. There is no one incident to report. However, the employer should report what is going on as soon as they suspect there is a problem or they receive a diagnosis. The same goes for workplace illnesses. If you suffer an illness that you suspect arose out of your employment, report it as soon as you know or suspect there is a correlation. 

When Should a Workplace Injury Be Reported?

Injury and Accident Reporting Procedures 

All workers’ compensation claims are no-fault claims. As such, neither you nor your employer is at fault for your injuries. It doesn’t matter if there was negligence. You still have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. In addition, state and federal protections are in place to protect you from potential employer retaliation.  

Once you report your injury, the process of getting the medical treatment and compensation you deserve should speed up. When you report your injury, your employer should assist you in completing a detailed injury report to ensure you get the help you need. 

However, if your employer doesn’t ask you for further details about your accident or injury or that you complete any paperwork, such a lack of action can be seen as a red flag. It might mean that they don’t intend to report your injury officially. 

What Happens If an Employer Does Not Report an Accident? 

Once you report your injury, accident, or illness to your employer, it becomes their responsibility to report it to your state Department of Labor. You can’t report it yourself; however, you can take steps to ensure that your employer does. Suppose you find out that they haven’t reported it or don’t plan on reporting it. In that case, you need to act quickly and contact an experienced employment law attorney who can help. If your employer did not report an injury in a timely manner, it could impact your claim, but they can also face the consequences. 

What Is the Workers Compensation 90-Day Rule? 

While workers’ comp laws and systems differ between states, the workers’ compensation 90 day rule generally refers to an employer having 90 days to determine if they will accept an employee’s injury claim. Typically, within 14 days of receiving an illness or injury claim form, the employer must decide if they will accept, reject, or delay a decision regarding an industrial injury claim.

Who Pays for on the Job Injuries?

If the workers compensation claim is delayed, the employer has 90 days to decide what to do. The good news is that even during this delay, they must furnish up to $10,000 worth of medical care to the injured worker. 

State Disability Insurance and Wage Loss

If an employee can’t work because of the injury, and they pay into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) system, or they have other disability policy through work, they should apply for these benefits to use at this time. The employer isn’t required to pay temporary disability benefits for wage loss during the delay period.

If, after 90 days, the employer still hasn’t made a decision, most states will presume that the claim is accepted and the injury is compensable. Most states uphold this rule. Furthermore, the courts won’t allow an appeal unless new evidence is presented.  

What Are My Rights If I Have an Accident at Work?

Get Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim Today 

If you recently filed a worker’s compensation claim, you must know your rights. One of these rights is to have your claim handled in a timely manner in accordance with state and federal laws. If your claim isn’t being addressed in this way, it’s essential to have a knowledgeable advocate on your side to fight for your rights. Get a free consultation by phone with an employment attorney consultation by completing our form now. A locally licensed lawyer will call you within ten minutes to discuss your circumstances.  

Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you with your case. You have nothing to lose by reaching out for a FREE consultation. Call us today! 

If I Get Injured at Work, Can I Sue My Employer? | Workers Compensation Attorneys

In this article, you’ll find answers to common questions about what to do when you are injured at work, or get hurt on the job, Worker’s Compensation, and what to know when considering “Can I sue my employer?”

Additional Topics Covered:

Workplace injuries are surprisingly common across America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.7 million injuries in private industries alone and 4,764 fatal injuries in the year 2020. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then you could be left reeling with a variety of different losses. This can be overwhelming and difficult to recover from. Fortunately, the law does provide several paths to justice and recovery. Perhaps most important among the available options is that of workers’ compensation benefits. 

Examples of Damages Recoverable in a Lawsuit

Examples of losses from work related injuries are:

  • Wage loss
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability issues
  • And more

Which Situation Qualifies an Employee for Workers Compensation Coverage?

Workers compensation benefits are paid out to employees who are injured on the job, or who suffer injuries linked to their job duties. These benefits are critical for many employees, particularly those in riskier professions. Let’s take a closer look. 

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Despite the name, worker’s compensation benefits are not available to all workers. They are available only to employees, not independent contractors. So, how do you recover losses from injuries at work as an independent contractor? Assuming you can prove that the employer was negligent, reckless, or engaged in intentional misconduct, then you can sue them and hold them liable for your injuries without workers comp. Also, these damages may even be greater than your would-be workers compensation benefits. 

What Is the Advantage of Workers Compensation?

Well, for one thing, you get to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit. But more importantly, worker’s compensation benefits are paid out even if your employer wasn’t at fault for your injuries. If you have a slip and fall accident while working and hurt yourself, even if it wasn’t anyone else’s fault, you are still entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits! That’s an enormous advantage for situations where you have suffered a loss, yet no one else is to blame. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are valuable, of course, but they are still limited in certain ways. For example, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering damages and other such losses. Instead, these benefits cover wage loss and medical expenses

When to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer

Serious Personal Injury

In cases of severe injury, only having access to workers’ compensation benefits can lead to a lower recovery than if you had been able to successfully sue your employer or some other defendant. 

The problem is that workers’ compensation laws shield employers from liability. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, then you are prohibited from suing your employer for damages. However, there are exceptions that allow you to sue your employer and secure a larger compensation amount. 

Continue reading about: Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer Made Easy

Should I Claim for an Accident at Work?

Employer Liability for Employee Actions

To sue your employer and take advantage of the exception, you’ll have to show that:

  • the employer’s misconduct caused your injury
  • it was intentional or reckless misconduct

For example, you can sue your employer if you can prove that they intentionally withheld protective goggles from factory workers in an effort to cut costs. Perhaps they knew that this would increase the risk of injury, but did so anyways because of their new cost-cutting approach. 

What Should an Employee Do If There Is a Workplace Accident?

Workplace injuries can leave employees feeling confused about what to do next. When you get injured at work, here are the first three steps you should take:

  1. Contact a workers’ comp lawyer immediately. They will gather evidence, speak to opposing counsel, and ensure that all procedural requirements are met. Work injury attorneys are comprehensive advocates, and are invaluable at every stage of a dispute. 
  1. Preserve records of the injury. Make sure to save all medical documentation, work documentation, and even pay stubs. These all form an important part of your claim. 
  1. Do not accept a settlement until you have consulted an attorney. Insurance companies and your boss will always attempt to minimize their liabilities. If you don’t have an attorney advocating on your behalf, they will try to push harder for a quick resolution that undermines your claims. 

Find a Workers Compensation Lawyer Near You

If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then the law may entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits, and in some cases, damages through a lawsuit. Workplace injury disputes can be challenging and complex, however, so it’s important that you secure the assistance of a qualified work accident lawyer who can help you at every stage. 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys, which includes experienced workmans comp lawyers. It’s worth speaking to one of our network attorneys for guidance on how to proceed with your claims. 

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

Call us today for a free and confidential consultationGet connected to one of our experienced attorneys in just 10 minutes or less

Additional Questions on Workers Compensation and Workplace Accidents:

Can I Sue My Employer for an On-the-Job Injury?

If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, then you may be entitled to significant damages, either as part of a workers’ compensation benefits package, or through a lawsuit against your employer (and other liable parties).

It’s critical that you consult with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after your injury. They will work with you to ensure that you submit your claims in a timely manner, and that an effective case strategy is developed.

Unfortunately, many first-time plaintiffs do not understand the limitations and restrictions surrounding an on-the-job injury. With the aim of clarifying some of these complexities, let’s explore some basics.

Workers’ Compensation And The Employer Liability Shield

Injured employees — regardless of whether the employer was actually “at-fault” for causing the injuries — are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation is a broadly applicable protection that works for both employees and employers. These benefits cover lost wages and medical expenses linked to the injuries suffered on-the-job.

Importantly, you have to show that you were actually injured in “the course and scope” of your employment. If you were on a lunch break at a restaurant when you slipped and fell and injured yourself, for example, then you wouldn’t have a workers’ compensation claim.

While workers’ compensation benefits provide broad coverage, they are also useful to employers because they protect them from additional lawsuits linked to the injuries their employees suffered — even if the employer was negligent and therefore caused the injury themselves.

Specifically, workers’ compensation laws prohibit lawsuits against the employer except in limited circumstances.

This isn’t always a “big problem” for injured employees, as they might find it more convenient to simply receive workers’ compensation benefits instead of suing their employer in an extended lawsuit. However, in situations where an employee has suffered serious injuries on-the-job, there may be damages that aren’t fully accounted for by workers’ compensation benefits: pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

These damages can add up! As such, if you’ve suffered a severe injury on-the-job, it’s sensible to consider your strategic options for suing your employer directly (over just receiving workers’ compensation benefits).

Exemptions To The Liability Shield

You can sue your employer directly in a number of scenarios. Two common exemption scenarios include:

1) You were not actually an employee; and
2) The employer intentionally or recklessly caused injury.

Consider #1.

Suppose that you are an independent contractor for a business. You work as a freelancer, doing regular projects for them — but they are not your only client. If you’re injured while working on-the-job for that business client, then you would not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits at all. As such, you’re also not subject to the restriction preventing you from suing them. You are well within your rights to bring a claim against them and recover damages through a lawsuit.

Consider #2.

Suppose that your employer acted beyond basic negligence — they were reckless (or even intentionally malicious) in causing your injuries. Perhaps they chose not to provide safety equipment to employees just to save some money, even though they knew the equipment would be necessary to prevent injury. That would be considered reckless misconduct, and would give you the right to sue and recover damages through a lawsuit.

Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney For A Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured on-the-job, then you may be entitled to either workers’ compensation benefits or — in some cases — damages through a lawsuit against your employer. Litigating a case against your employer can be a unique challenge, however, as you’ll have to show that workers’ compensation restrictions don’t apply.

Our attorneys are standing by to provide assistance.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys, some of who are experienced in handling on-the-job injuries. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible — our agents will connect you to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney in just 10 minutes or less.

Consultation is free and confidential, so don’t delay. There’s no downside to calling in and speaking to an attorney in our network.

We look forward to helping you.