When you are injured at your workplace, you may think that you will receive all the benefits that you need when you file a workers’ compensation claim. After all, workers’ compensation is supposed to take care of injured workers, right? However, the benefits that you receive for your injury are actually dependent upon many factors. These factors can greatly affect the amount you receive. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will help you navigate the factors and determine when it is right to settle, and for how much compensation.
Factors that Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
The following are some of the factors that may affect the amount of your benefits from workers’ compensation:
#1 – The Amount You Are Receiving
When you are injured in the workplace and can no longer work, you should be receiving a weekly (or biweekly) check for lost wages. Your average wages and corresponding rate from workers’ compensation are two of the biggest factors in determining what your compensation will be – the amount that the insurance company is required to pay you each week.
#2 – The Type of Injury You Sustained
The more serious your injuries are, the greater value they are assigned. In other words, if the seriousness of your injury will not allow you to work, in any capacity, the more your case will ultimately be worth. Additionally, injuries that preclude you from returning to your previous profession are typically valued higher.
#3 – The Medical Treatment You Will Require in the Future
Injuries that necessitate ongoing or future medical treatment are typically worth more than those treated with speculative treatment. Injuries that will need future surgeries will also be of more value. The settlement value may also be increased if your injuries require ongoing physical therapy and medications.
#4 – The Seriousness of Your Injuries and How They Affect Your Work
If you sustain injuries that will allow you to continue to work and earn a salary that is in the ballpark of your previous salary, then your claim may be of less value. Injuries that will allow you to work, but at a lower wage, will increase the value of your claim. Injuries that will not allow you to work at all are of a much higher value.
#5 – The Status of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits and not in litigation, your claim may be worth more. If the workers’ compensation insurance company is attempting to lower the benefits you are receiving, then the value of any settlement goes down. If the insurance company believes that you can return to work based on a doctor’s opinion of full recovery, it can also cause your claim to be of less value.
#6 – The Possibility of Future Medical Problems
If your injuries cause you to have any further injuries in the future, your claim may be more valuable. For example, if your injury is to your back, it’s foreseeable that you may have additional injuries to your hips and knees down the line. If those injuries will require future treatment, your claim value will rise.
#7 – The Attorney You Hire
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is always in your best interest, and it also greatly increases your chances of receiving a more valuable settlement. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and choose an attorney who has a proven track record of handling workers’ compensation cases successfully.
#8 – The Judge Assigned to Your Case
While all Pennsylvania worker compensation judges are fair, there are some who tend to be more claimant-friendly. This can have an effect on the overall outcome of your case.
#9 – The Credibility of Your Doctor
Most workers’ compensation cases hinge upon medical expert testimony. The worker’s compensation doctor will not likely testify in your favor. For that reason, you will need your doctor to support your claim. Having a doctor who has a good history with the judge can certainly improve your chances of a better judgment, but the opposite is also true. That’s why you need to be sure that you have a credible and trustworthy doctor.
#10 – Your Willingness to Continue to Fight
Insurance companies can be relentless in their defense, and their goal is to limit the amount you receive. While you may have a strong case, your willingness to persevere in the fight will likely be tested as these types of cases can be lengthy.
Help for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction work site in Pennsylvania, and suffered injuries, it’s important that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you with your case as soon as possible. Contact Spear Greenfield’s workers’ compensation lawyers at 1-800-90-LEGAL to make sure your rights are protected and that all the above factors are considered.
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Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney-client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim, please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.