Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that can let the injured employee use the benefit of replacement and medical treatments, or in the opposite case, they have a right to sue their company for negligence. It’s also known as a compensation bargain. If someone is injured at work, no matter the type of injury, the company can offer to pay for the medical bills and cover the other expenses this person may have during the treatments and healing process, so they can let them give up on the lawsuit. But, sometimes the company is not financially powerful to cover all of that.
If we imagine that the company offers to compensate, according to the rights the employee has, we also have to know that it may take some time until the whole process is completed. Surely, hiring a lawyer to support and represent you is a must, since they will help you protect your rights. Click here to see how these things work in the real life.
You also have to know that before you get that compensation, you have to settle with the employer, and the settlement must be approved, so it can become official. After that, you can receive fair compensation. But, it may take about a whole year until you get that money in your hands, depending on how difficult was the case, and many other factors that lead to it. If you have a lawyer, it can be either shorter or longer than one year, which also depends on the level of how injured you are, how long do you negotiate the terms, and did you hired them immediately, or you’ve been waiting some time until you do that.
What is negotiation?
As we said, the company won’t really offer enough money to cover all the expenses you have and compensate for the injuries.
If you include a lawyer in the whole process, you should know that they will charge some fee, so make sure that after you pay them, you still have enough money, equal to the worth of the compensation. Keep all these things in mind when you start negotiating with employers. That’s the moment when the insurance company jumps in, to mediate between the employer and employee, so they can settle.
The goal is to reach a fair settlement, and accepting the first offer is not always the best option for you. Also, the employees rarely can go against the companies alone, and that’s why we always recommend finding someone to represent you.
How is the process performed?
These are the main steps of worker’s compensation:
- You and your attorney should work on the demand letter you will send to the insurance company, explain the case, and list your demands, and then send it to them.
- As they answer, the negotiation process begins.
- There will be back and forth, and that’s the longest part of the whole process.
- Once the negotiation is complete, they will tell you about the outcome. If it’s successful, you will receive the needed amount of money.
Also, keep in mind that the insurance company can delay the whole process since there is a third party included between you and the company you work for.
The lawyer too should pay attention to the details included in the settlement. The final “deal” should include:
- The initial medical costs
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance rides
- Home visits by a doctor
- Transport expenses when going to doctor’s office
- Future treatments
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages and wages to be lost in the future
- The outcome of the injury (disability as a result of it)
The settlement is the longest process in the whole case, because of the negotiations. But, once you settle, you will receive the payment.
Ask your lawyer to help you with the terms for future expenses related to the injury. Sometimes the worker can settle for covering the first costs, but the lifetime therapy is at their expense. It all depends on the terms and conditions in the settlement.
What to do if the claim and demand are denied?
The insurance company, or the company you work for, may deny the claim, and avoid paying you. You must be ready for every case. Sometimes, the companies want to skip their responsibilities, and they can try to manipulate you or the insurance service you are using. The situation can become even more complicated if you are a contractor or consultant, without an official status that you are hired in that company. Sometimes, that status may shorten the options you have.
Also, be ready that they will try to argue and claim that the injury is work-related. Sadly, that’s one of the main reasons why some people give up on the claim and settlement, and they either look for a new job or stay there, being bullied by their managers and coworkers because of that brave step they decided to take.
Every worker must be aware of the rights they have by the laws in the country they live in. Many employers fail to mention them when they hire the worker, and yes, they are doing that on purpose, because they know that the people are rarely aware of their labor rights.
Anyway, if your claim is denied, you will also receive a letter with an explanation of why that happened. But, if you have a lawyer by your side, especially an expert in cases like this, you can be sure you can file it once again, and get the justice you deserve.
Accidents happen every day, but sometimes, someone else is guilty of that. If you are permanently injured because of that accident at the workplace, you have rights guaranteed by the laws, that let you ask for compensation, and expect to get it too.
During that “journey” you will see people who want to avoid their responsibilities, and they even use cheap tricks to accomplish that. But, don’t get disappointed. If you have the right person by your side, you will get the compensation you deserve.