When it comes to navigating your workers’ compensation claim, it may not even cross your mind to wonder how best to settle your claim. The endless onslaught of questions revolving around treating your injury seem to take top billing. But what exactly is your injury worth? Should you seek a lump sum settlement or weekly benefit checks? How long will the checks last? If you take the lump sum option, will it be less than weekly benefits? What is the right amount to settle for? While every case is different, there are important steps every injured worker can take to insure they receive the maximum possible compensation for their injuries.
The first step to take is to report your injury promptly and correctly. Waiting only increases the risk that you will be met with obstacles when trying to prove the details of the accident. When reporting the injury, make sure to put the supervisor or safety department on notice on the event and injury, and make sure you notify them that you need medical care. Also, keep a copy for your own records, if possible. This is how your workers’ compensation claim is initiated.
Next, timely seek medical treatment immediately after incurring your injury. If you wait to receive medical treatment, this could give the insurance company cause to lower a settlement offer or deny your claim. Medical treatment is also the best way to corroborate the details of your injury as reported in your claim. Medical professionals can document the extent of your injury and physical restrictions, which can go a long way in fighting for your claim.
Document every action taken in relation to your claim. While some portions of the process may not seem important, keep all of the paperwork and take notes of what your doctor says and does at each visit. The costs of these visits and treatments can be used in settlement negotiations, the actions of your doctor can be proof of the extent of your injuries, and even your own words to the doctor can be used for (or against) your case. Everything associated with your injury can have the purpose of increasing your compensation. Do not leave anything to chance.
Do not go through this process alone! You really should consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Do your research online to find the right lawyer for your claim. There are things you do not know about the workers’ compensation process that can be used against you. Everything you say to a medical professional, employer, fellow employee, or insurance company can be documented and utilized for your benefit or for the benefit of the insurance company. To make sure that you avoid the landmines rampant throughout this process, having an experienced attorney on your side who can navigate these pitfalls is invaluable. If the insurance company sends you checks for an incorrect amount, a lawyer can assist you in receiving a check for the full amount. If your employer ignores your claim, a lawyer will know how best to proceed. What you are unaware of can hurt you, so align yourself with a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation.
If you are hurt on the job due to unsafe working conditions, seek legal counsel, as you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or other benefits. As we have since 1967, we will continue to protect the legal rights of our clients – those who are hurt on the job while working for Alabama employers. If you have been injured on the job and want to learn your rights, please consider contacting the Nomberg Law Firm. Our office number is 205-930-6900.
Bernard D. Nomberg has been a lawyer for more than 25 years. Bernard has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review rating. In 2030, Bernard was named a Super Lawyer for the 8th year in a row.