Battling For Workers Compensation: Should You Settle Or Go To Court?
If the workers compensation insurance companies deny your claim or give you a counteroffer after an injury, you have two options: settle your case out of court or take it all the way to the judge. Both options have their benefits, and you'll need the help of a skilled attorney no matter which route you pick.
What Are The Benefits Of Settling?
Settlements are typically much quicker to resolve than court cases for a number of reasons:
- You don't need a court appointment.
- Your attorney doesn't need to gather witness testimony or call in medical and vocational experts.
- Talks can be performed informally from your home or hospital bed with the assistance of your attorney.
- If you have a strong case, insurance companies will want to preempt your suit in order to save on legal fees.
Typically, settlements are also significantly less expensive for the person claiming workers compensation funds. Not only can you save on court fees, but attorneys will charge less at the end of a case if it settles out of court. Putting together witness and expert testimony, readying evidence to be presented to the judge, booking the court date, and representing you in court all constitute significant effort on your lawyer's part, so going to court will almost always hike up the price of your lawyer.
Should You Take Your Case To Trial?
Sometimes taking the case to trial is simply unavoidable. If the compensation insurance company continues to lowball you or doesn't acknowledge the legitimacy of your injury, you have no choice but to prove to a judge that you deserve compensation.
When you settle, you may be able to get an amount that covers your current missed work and medical bills, but having the cost of future missed work due to disability assessed can be difficult. You'll need to not only factor in your lawyer's fees, but also your type of disability and remaining number of working years to calculate your needed compensation. After all that work, insurance companies may still try to offer you less than what you need. Judges, however, are more likely to award you the money you request once you can prove your case.
You can also never pursue additional compensation if you settle your case, while a case won in court sets a precedent for future compensation claims. For example, if you suffer a back injury and settle your case and then need surgery several years later due to complications, it will be entirely up to you to pay for your treatment. However, if you win a claim in court and later need additional treatment, you can file another claim or sue if need be to cover the costs.
How Can A Lawyer Help Your Case
Whether you want to settle your case quickly or take the insurance company to court, you'll need a well qualified lawyer with experience winning workers compensation cases. In both scenarios, the skills of such a lawyer are invaluable.
Settling Your Case: An attorney can look at aspects of your case and give you a general estimate for the value of your settlement, as well as the likelihood of being able to cover all of your expenses with settlement money. Disability payments can also be reduced by poorly planned settlement payments, but a good lawyer can structure your payments so as to keep you from losing any of your vital assistance funds.
Going To Trial: Prior to a trial, your lawyer will gather together your doctor, witnesses to your accident or condition, vocational experts in your field, and all paper and visual evidence for your case. If you've been recently injured, having a lawyer do all of the phone calls and case organization can greatly reduce the stress of the case. A good lawyer also eloquently presents your case to the judge and knows how to counter potential arguments from insurance company attorneys.
Don't settle for less than you deserve or step into the courtroom unprepared. Talk about your options today with a legal expert and you'll get a much better idea of where your case is headed. With the help of an attorney who specializes in workers compensation cases, you might just be able to get the money you need to get your life back to normal. Go to this web-site for more information.