What Should be Part of Your Workers’ Comp Settlement?
When you’re applying for disability, there are clear caps. Then when you’re handling a different type of personal injury, there is all manner of possible factors contributing to a workers’ comp settlement. So, what about workers’ compensation? Is it reasonable to expect a settlement that includes your time lost at work, or pain and suffering?
Hiring an Alexandria, VA workers’ compensation attorney could help you understand how to assign dollar values to your workers’ comp settlement.
Damages from Medical Expenses
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has a number of calculators available to help you get a round figure. All of those calculators focus on the damages accrued through medical expenses. However, you likely won’t see the bills for things like your emergency room visit if your employer-supplied you with the proper insurance card and information. It’s likely that those bills went straight to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Other damages from medical expenses, though, could include a prescription, time spent away from work, and even your expenses for traveling. For example, if you did not have a local doctor available and had to visit one of the insurance’s practitioners in another city, you could expect to see your travel expenses. Reimbursement for these things, however, don’t always happen.
What happens if you get behind on your bills in the gap between your injury and you receiving any benefits? Initially, you cannot claim these as part of your pursuit of compensation. However, during an appeal, you can show or justify that your check was inexcusably late.
Say your employer’s insurance carrier denied your claim without any support that it was invalid. Then you had to wait and submit for an appeal. Then you waited through the appeals process all the while your bills are piling up and waiting for payment. In some cases, although it’s rare, you can show that your wage loss check was late because of unethical, illegal, or unjustified reasons.
As part of your wage loss, you will not get the full amount. So you often cannot argue that you have unpaid bills because of partial wage payment.
Future Medical Costs
Workers’ compensation is often misunderstood. You do need to understand the extent of your injuries, and many doctors won’t give you that. You need a financial expert to break down what the cost of your continued care will amount up to over the years. You should get full compensation, and that means long after your claim closes.
The issue with future medical costs and workers’ compensation insurance is that they want to see you reach maximum recovery as quickly as possible. The doctors that work on these medical networks understand that goal and will often aim to make it seem as if the care you’ve received is enough.
This is one area when attorneys prefer to bring in external experts. They will likely work with a financial expert and may work with an independent doctor. An attorney may also use your medical history to show that previously you were very healthy, and now you are not fully recovering.
Attorney’s Fees and Legal Expenses
The goal of wanting to settle a claim for fair compensation without involving an attorney is what most people aim to do. However, there’s something at stake here. You will likely not see anything close to a full workers’ comp settlement without an attorney.
Your attorney and legal expenses will probably not play any role in your compensation. When working with an attorney in Alexandria, VA, they may rely on your compensation to take any payment for themselves. Such agreements are Contingency Fees. That means that they only charge you if they win your claim.
Many claimants realize there is no delicate balance between getting fair compensation and working on their own. Using a contingency fee, you can bring in a lawyer with zero risks. However, after you win your claim, you will see a portion of your compensation go to your attorney for payment. You will also see a small amount of your compensation for towards other legal expenses.
Contact Ashcraft & Gerel
The best move you can make with your claim is to hire an attorney. Even if your claim does go through well, you will have someone to argue for your best interest. A person advocating for your needs is not common in workers’ compensation cases.
Often people find themselves facing unpaid medical bills, and behind on their work because of an injury. Only to learn that workers’ compensation only covered a fraction of the damages they incurred.
Contact Ashcraft & Gerel for legal guidance, assistance, and advice. Schedule a consultation to learn what to expect from your workers’ comp settlement.