When you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you might be surprised and excited that the insurance company is willing to pay your claim quickly. However, you should be cautious when you receive this initial settlement offer from the insurer.
Insurance companies are not on your side. They lose money every time they pay out on a claim.
You might be surprised that the insurance company is attempting to settle for far less than your claim is worth. Instead, review the settlement offer with your workers’ compensation lawyer before making a decision.
You Should Never Accept a First Offer without Your Attorney
Accepting the insurance company’s first offer is never a good idea. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. Insurance companies have been known to use a variety of tactics to take advantage of those seeking the financial support they need to overcome.
Although you may initially receive a fast offer from the insurance company, you should be cautious and skeptical. Although you may need access to this compensation now, you could be shocked to learn that the value of your claim is significantly more.
For this reason, never accept a first offer from an insurance company. This settlement is unlikely to be enough to meet your needs fully, and there is no reason why you should not hold out for the total value of your claim.
Why Insurance Companies Make Fast Offers
Insurance companies make fast offers for many reasons. However, the top reason is that they believe it will save them money. If the insurance company can tempt you into accepting a fast settlement offer, they may be able to reduce their financial losses.
They know you need money quickly to escape financial ruin. The insurance company is also counting on the fact that you do not have any idea as to the actual value of your claim. By getting you to accept their offer, they can avoid having to pay out a fair settlement.
Insurance companies make money by paying out less in claims than they bring in through insurance premiums. Therefore, the insurance company must do everything possible to reduce the amount they pay. If you receive a fast settlement offer from the insurance company, your best option is to hold off on accepting their offer until you can talk to your lawyer.
What to Expect During Workers’ Comp Insurance Claim Negotiations
The workers’ comp insurance claim negotiations process will likely be far more complex than expected. Insurance companies may attempt to trick you into settling for far less than your claim is worth.
Not only do insurers attempt to reduce their payout by making insultingly low offers, but they also use a variety of other tactics to accomplish their financial goals. These tactics include:
- Blaming you for causing your injuries
- Saying your injury is not work-related
- Delaying the processing of your claim
- Arguing that you do not meet the workers’ compensation eligibility requirements
Understanding the Value of Your Damages
Under the law, you are entitled to specific types of workers’ compensation benefits. These include the following:
Disability benefits describe the benefits you receive to replace a portion of your lost income. Although disability benefits will not replace the total value of your lost wages, they can help you stay afloat. At the same time, you can recuperate from your injuries and potentially move forward with a civil lawsuit against the liable party.
The workers’ compensation insurance provider should compensate you for every medical expense related to your work injuries. These might include ambulance bills, the cost of your hospital stay, and other types of medical expenses, including:
- Medical equipment and devices
- Costs of prescription drugs
- Home accommodation costs
- Diagnostic testing
- Ongoing physical therapy
- Ongoing mental health counseling
- Future medical expenses related to your work injury
Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed to provide financial support to those who have suffered work injuries so severe they will no longer be able to continue working. If you hope to re-enter the workforce, the insurance company can compensate you for the costs of returning to school or the job training needed to find gainful employment in another industry.
Death benefits may be available to the surviving family members of individuals who pass away from work-related injuries. These benefits often extend to the decedent’s surviving spouse and children for the foreseeable future or until they reach the maximum number of weeks allowed.
What to Do When You Get a Workers’ Comp Settlement Offer
When you initially receive your workers’ compensation settlement offer, there are specific steps you can take to protect your compensation.
Have Your Workers’ Comp Lawyer Renegotiate Your Settlement
Ensure your workers’ compensation lawyer reviews the settlement offer from the insurance company. If your lawyer determines the settlement is insufficient, your attorney can prepare to renegotiate the settlement so you can obtain fair compensation for your damages.
Prepare to File an Appeal
If the insurance company refuses to settle your claim fairly, your lawyer will be ready to proceed with a formal appeal. Generally, by providing the insurance company with the evidence and information they need to process your claim, we can avoid going forward with an appeal and instead get the insurance company to overturn or reverse their initial denial.
Bring the Insurance Company to Court
If all else fails, and your lawyer determines that the insurance company is handling your claim in bad faith, we will be prepared to take legal action against them so you can access the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help Today
Dealing with the insurance company after a work-related injury can be challenging and overwhelming. The last thing you need is to be taken advantage of during one of the most trying times in your life. Fortunately, even though the insurance company may try to settle for as little as possible, your attorney will be there by your side every step to protect your workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm to learn more about how much your workers’ comp claim could be worse and whether your initial settlement is sufficient. Please complete our quick contact form or call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.