When a worker gets injured at work, due to negligence, or bad working conditions, they become candidates for workers’ compensation settlement. Today we will talk about what is workers’ comp, and how long it takes to settle. It’s a form of insurance coverage, that every worker has the right to obtain if they are victims of bad conditions at work. The employee claims these benefits through the employer’s insurer, so they can cover the eventual costs for medical care, treatments, and rehabilitation.
If you click here, you will get a nice explanation of how these things work in Albany, Georgia. Also, at this point, we need to make clear that every state can regulate these things differently, based on the federal laws.
In general, after a workplace injury, many workers are unable to come back to work immediately, so that pushes them on a leave, which in the USA is equal to money loss. Also, the insurance company often negotiates unfairly, so they can settle for lower amounts. That’s why many workers hire worker’s comp attorneys, so they can get what they deserve.
How to understand what is workers’ comp and why it’s important?
This is a compensation claim, that the insurance company offers to the injured employee. The worker may accept the initial offer and take the money. But, many law experts say that the insurers usually work for the employer, and they go with the lowest amount possible, so they won’t have to pay a lot of money.
They use the moment when the employee is disturbed and stressed and thinks that any offered amount is enough. But, we all know that’s not true, especially in the USA, because of the huge healthcare expenses. That’s why they hire a lawyer to help them get a larger settlement and receive fair compensation.
The key factors are the current and future medical costs, lost wages, disability, and the nature of injuries.
That is why the employee must report the case immediately, in order to avoid manipulation by the employer and the insurance company. Although this is not fair at all, there are examples when the injured worker was cheated with a small amount of money, which is not even enough to cover the costs of medical care.
How does the process go and how long does it take to settle?
On average, it takes about 16 months to reach a compensation agreement. But this is because some cases are resolved immediately, in a few days, and for others, it takes several years to prove guilt in the case. Cases in which court proceedings have been initiated usually last a long time. About 20% of all workers’ injury claims are resolved within the first six months.
What you need to be aware of at all times is that workers’ comp is different from personal injury settlement, because in the first case, the employee receives compensation before the case is closed. In the second scenario, the money from the agreement arrives after the case is resolved.
In general, larger settlements may take too long because there are a lot of things to do. Medical help is going on for a long too, and the employee must be regularly treated. During that time, the attorney and the insurance company will negotiate the terms, and see what they can do.
That’s why it’s so important for everyone to be responsible and report the case as soon as possible, never mind the insurance’s offer. Every injured employee must keep copies of the medical record because they can help them win or lose the case.
Knowing all these things, we can say that you can expect the first offer for settlement in the first month. But, the final settlement will probably come in the next few months.
What are the key factors in workers’ comp cases?
The main factor is the fact that an accident happen, and now you, or someone you know, is injured and needs medical help. That also depends on the type of injury, and how serious it is.
With the help of a medical examination, it can be proven whether the injury is minor and whether it will leave consequences. Some injuries are so serious that they can prevent you from doing your job permanently. This is a reason to ask for a higher amount for a settlement and to negotiate longer, and even include a lawyer in the process.
It is also important that you take the time to fully recover from the injury – if possible. The final settlement can happen really late if you go to court or if you have to file a lawsuit against the employer.
An important factor is whether you will be able to work after recovery. The situation can be complicated if you have to leave your position and move to someone who is paid less. Many employees are unaware, but this is also a violation of rights because you lose a significant amount of your income.
Injury at work is not an easy case. This is complicated for both the employer and the employee, but also for the insurance companies and the legal representatives. Surely no employer would intentionally injure a worker. But there are those who do not provide sufficiently safe conditions for workers, so such accidents occur. Many of these injuries will go unnoticed, unfortunately, because even the worker is not aware that he can seek compensation for even the smallest injury.
Many will drop the case because they do not want to ruin the relationship with the employer and are afraid for their future. But it does give employers room to be empowered and untouchable, but still, fails to adjust conditions as needed to protect employees.
Surely, we need to fight against that, and they need to learn their lesson. Proper working conditions will prevent accidents to happen, and the number of workers’ comp requests will significantly drop after that. But, the workers shouldn’t be afraid to report something like this in the first place too.