Once you have been injured on the job, it is your employer's responsibility to compensate you for the injuries you sustain. Once you file a claim to receive compensation for your injury, it can include four different types of compensation. You could receive permanent impairment benefits, vocational rehabilitation, weekly compensation, and payment of medical bills. Just because you are entitled to receive all of these, it does not mean you will. Every case and injury is different, warranting different types and amounts of compensation. Unlike a personal injury case, you cannot receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Instead of receiving weekly benefits, you can choose to settle the case and receive one lump sum.
Hiring a Lawyer
While you can handle the case yourself, it is always a good idea to hire a lawyer who specializes in workers compensation cases. Not only do they have the expertise of laws surrounding workers comp cases, but also they have the experience in handling these type of cases. When you work with a lawyer, you can get a better understanding of how each step of the case works. This way you remain confident and in the know throughout the process.
Valuing the Benefits
One of the first things you need to decide is how much your benefits are worth. This is done by calculating the amount of benefits you expect to receive in the future. You also have to consider the likeliness of you obtaining all those benefits. This will give you an idea of how much you can expect should you settle. When calculating how much you are likely to receive, you need to gather evidence in your case. This is done by working with your doctors to determine how long you can expect to be on disability. Once you have an estimate of how long, you want to try and settle for an amount equivalent to that same time frame.
Once everyone has agreed on a settlement, it does not mean the case is over. The settlement has to be issued to the state's workers compensation agency for approval. At this point, a hearing is held where a judge or hearing's officer will decide whether to approve the settlement or reject it. In order to gain approval, you will have to make it clear that you understand the settlement and are okay with how much is being offered. Once they feel confident in your understanding, they will then approve the settlement.
For more information, contact a business such as Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin & Ratliff, L.L.P.