If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you will need answers. It's important that you know and understands your rights before you take any type of settlement from the insurance company. Here are a few of the most common frequently asked questions:
How Long Do I Have to Notify My Employer?
In most cases, you aren't obligated to report the injury within a specific timeline. However, the sooner you report the incident, the sooner you will receive compensation if it is awarded to you. Delaying the process can delay your case, and in certain situations make it almost impossible to collect. Reporting the accident and the resulting injuries to your employer immediately after they happen is always in your best interest. If you are filing a claim against a government agency or someone who works for them, the rule of thumb is 30 days to one year from the date of the accident.
What Should I Do First After an Injury?
Always keep accurate notes. Write down as much as you remember about the accident and take photographs if possible. Next, seek medical attention! Make sure to get a full report from your doctor and provide it to both your attorney and your employer if they ask for it.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
While the law can differ from state to state, most require that claims be filed within one year of the date the accident occurred. Don't delay! Waiting to file your claim can be costly and may actually reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Filing as soon after the accident as possible is the best way for you to get the compensation you deserve in a timely fashion.
How is a workers' compensation settlement paid out?
Workers' compensation settlements are paid out in different ways. If you want to settle your claim and close your case, you can accept a settlement offer. This is paid in one lump sum and will effectively end your claim, prohibiting you from filing any new claims or asking for any additional benefits from your employer for that particular injury. The second settlement option is to receive structured payments over a specific amount of time. A structured settlement may last for two or more years, depending on the severity of your injury. The payments may eventually start to decrease over time, depending on how your settlement is set up.
What are the different types of work injury settlements?
When dealing with work-related injuries and workers' compensation claims, lump settlements are designed to provide one large payment that will effectively close the case. For most, this will be the amount that is determined to be sufficient to finish paying any medical bills or lost wages you may experience before you return to work. Structured settlements, however, are a more long-term solution where you continue to receive payments for as long as necessary or until your benefits run out. In most cases, the severity of your injuries will determine which type of settlement will work best for you.
How much should I expect from a workers' compensation settlement?
Workers' compensation settlements are based on two primary factors. The first is your lost wages. You will be entitled to an approximate amount that totals what you would have expected to earn while you were off work due to your injury. This type of settlement may include money for retraining since you may not be able to return to the same job you had before your injury. The second factor is the cost of your medical expenses. This can include your immediate treatment, prescriptions, physical therapy, and long-term care.
Call the workers' compensation attorneys at Gaylord & Nantais if you have any questions about filing a claim or what your next steps should be. They have the answers you need and can help you get your life back on track.
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