Several factors can influence how your lawyer will calculate your workers’ compensation settlement. An attorney can discuss the specifics of your case and explain California laws to help you pursue a fair amount of compensation.
What a Workers’ Compensation Settlement May Include
According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), you have two options to settle a workers’ compensation claim. If you choose stipulations with a request for award (or stips), you can receive temporary or permanent disability payments typically issued every week. The claims administrator will generally agree to pay for medical care that you may need in the future to treat injuries you suffered in a work-related accident.
If you select compromise and release (C&R), you will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment. That sum may include compensation for estimated costs for future medical care. If you receive a lump-sum settlement, the claims administrator will not pay doctors for the medical treatment that you receive in the future. You will have to pay physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other health care providers with funds from the settlement.
If you have a permanent partial disability—defined by California Labor Code (LAB) §4452.5 as “a permanent disability with a rating of less than 100 percent permanent disability”— you might still qualify for a financial settlement, even if you can work. Your injuries may still affect you. For example, you may have a limited range of motion or cannot perform certain tasks. Those limitations may prevent you from working in specific fields and cause you to earn less than you did before the accident. A settlement may include compensation for lost income.
Sometimes, a workers’ compensation insurance company does not pay a claimant the amount of money they qualify to receive for temporary disability payments. If you were underpaid, you could include the amount owed to you in a settlement. You may also receive compensation for any unpaid medical bills that you have already incurred.
How the Nature of Your Injuries Can Affect a Settlement
The types and severity of injuries you suffered will be critical factors that influence the amount of compensation you could receive. Some injuries are relatively minor. Even if they have lingering effects, they may have little or no impact on your ability to work and do things you enjoy.
Other injuries may be much more severe and debilitating. For instance, a back injury might cause chronic pain and severely restrict your ability to work and live a normal life. You might find it difficult or impossible to remain employed in your former field. You may struggle to perform simple tasks or even to get out of bed. You may require ongoing medical treatment for months or years—maybe even the rest of your life. A more severe injury might therefore entitle you to a much larger settlement than a minor injury.
How a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
If you suffered injuries in a workplace accident, you might find it challenging to determine a fair settlement offer. You may not know what forms of medical treatment you will need in the future and for how long. Your condition may improve or deteriorate. You may need one or more surgeries down the road, or you may have to take medications regularly to deal with pain or complications related to the accident.
A workers’ compensation attorney can review your medical records and discuss your injuries with doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals who have treated you. That can help the lawyer understand:
- The extent of your injuries.
- How they have already impacted your life.
- How they might continue to affect you in the future.
- The types of care you may require.
That information can determine how your lawyer will calculate your workers’ compensation, so they seek an appropriate benefit amount.
Your lawyer can work with the claims administrator to reach an agreement. A workers’ compensation administrative law judge will review the offer to ensure its fairness. If your lawyer and the claims administrator cannot agree on a settlement, a workers’ compensation judge will determine a fair amount of compensation.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has helped people across the United States seek justice after a workplace accident. If the insurance company offers you a settlement, you might find it in your best interest to discuss the matter with an attorney before you agree to anything. The offer may seem generous and tempt you into accepting it while you struggle to make ends meet, but that could be a mistake.
Having difficulty fully assessing the implications of your injuries? An attorney who has experience handling workers’ compensation cases can calculate a fair workers’ compensation package for you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 529-9122 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.