How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement in Virginia?
A person who has been injured at work often needs to deal with medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other accident-related costs.
Workers’ compensation settlements can help pay for these expenses, along with damages that the worker incurs in recovery.
Accepting a settlement means that the worker releases their employer and the insurance company from any future liability arising from the accident. If the worker runs out of money even though they’re still not fully healed or can’t go back to work, they won’t be allowed to ask for more.
This is why it’s crucial for any worker to understand how the settlement amount is calculated, and how they can maximize the amount to cover all existing and potential damages.
How Do I Get the Most out of My Workers Comp Settlement?
Here are some ways to maximize workers’ comp settlement in Virginia:
Make Sure the Claim Is Legitimate
Many workers tend to get their claims denied because they fail to present their case in such a way that the insurance company won’t flag it as fraudulent.
Before filing a claim, it’s important to know which injuries are considered eligible workers’ compensation in Virginia. These include:
- Occupational Diseases: These are illnesses that arise due to exposure to certain chemicals or toxins at the job site. Examples include asbestosis and lung cancer.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: These come about due to continuous repetition of certain types of movements. These include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
- Work-Related Injuries: These are injuries that happen at the workplace or while doing a work-related task. These may include slip-and-fall accidents, car crashes, or back injuries.
Report the Injury Immediately
It’s important to report the injury in writing to the supervisor as soon as possible. This is true even if no medical treatment may be necessary at the time of the accident. Remember, some injuries such as concussions have symptoms that manifest at a later stage. The longer the worker takes to report the accident, the more challenging it’ll be for them to prove to their employer or insurance company that they have a legitimate claim.
Document the Case Thoroughly
Keep a record of all the details associated with the accident and the injury. Keep track of the following files:
- Medical and hospital records
- Any form or paperwork that the worker has collected or filled out
- Photos of the accident site and the injury
- Receipts for medications, parking lot fees, gas bills, etc.
Learn about the Disability Rating
Work injuries may result in permanent injuries that can keep the worker from working temporarily or permanently.
Any worker who has been injured at work should be aware of the following main disability categories:
- Temporary Total Disability: This completely prevents the worker from working for a specified period of time.
- Temporary Partial Disability: This prevents the worker from performing some, but not all, of their duties and tasks at work for a specified period of time.
- Permanent Partial Disability: This permanently prevents the worker from performing certain types of duties and tasks at work.
- Permanent Total Disability: This permanently prevents the worker from working again in their field, no matter who the employer may be.
Exercise Caution When Discussing Your Injuries
Workers should be cautious when talking to everyone about injuries, especially insurance adjusters. They should always be honest and stick to the facts.
Claimants should provide whatever details are pertinent, but avoid talking about personal information or details that have no relation to the accident or their injury.
The insurance adjuster may also request the worker to provide a recorded statement that explains in detail the facts surrounding the accident and the injury.
However, the worker should remember that they are not obligated to provide a recorded statement, especially because insurance companies are notorious for using these statements to find discrepancies that can weaken or damage the worker’s claim.
If you are uncertain about how to report your injuries to an insurance adjuster, it’s best to stay quiet until you have consulted with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Pursue Other Ways to Recover
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the injury, the worker may be eligible for benefits on the grounds of product or premises liability and other personal injury claims.
Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you want to maximize your settlement, you should always have an experienced and competent workers’ comp attorney by your side. They’ll use their knowledge and experience in dealing with insurance companies to make sure that you get the full amount that you’re entitled to.
Our team at Slominski Law has helped countless workers achieve the best possible outcome for their cases. Contact us by email, or call (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke).