Should I Accept My First Workers’ Compensation Offer?
Imagine you were claiming workers’ compensation for your workplace injuries.
You want to receive your deserved compensation to cover your injury-related medical expenses and lost wages. You and your legal representative should thus communicate with your employer’s insurance provider for the settlement. The insurance carrier would then offer an initial amount to pay your injury-related expenses immediately.
The question is should you accept the insurance provider’s first offer?
How can you determine if they are offering an adequate or insufficient amount?
This article answers these questions to guide you.
Why You Should Not Accept the First Workers’ Compensation Settlement
California law requires all employers to get workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employee’s benefits for workplace injuries. You will thus have to deal with insurance adjusters when claiming your deserved benefits.
However, remember you should not immediately accept initial money from an insurance adjuster, like an upfront settlement offer or cash assistance. Insurance companies don’t want to release considerable amounts to protect their business interest, so they will likely offer insufficient compensation.
For example, an insurance adjuster may tell you only deserve $1,000 as compensation for your injury, and they can pay immediately. Don’t accept this amount as you may need more for ongoing medical treatments later.
Another example is an insurance adjuster who may offer you small immediate cash assistance and promise to give you additional compensation. You should also reject this offer as you won’t be able to claim additional benefits if you accept some money from them.
It’s thus better to hire a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer to deal with insurance adjusters and protect you from insufficient offers.
Determining a Workers’ Comp Offer That You Deserve
You have to reject the first settlement offer from an insurance provider as it’s likely insufficient to cover your injury-related financial losses. You should thus determine the correct compensation amount for your situation to know when to accept an offer.
Consider these two vital points as your guide:
1. Severity of Your Injury
You may claim a smaller amount if you only sustained minor injuries like superficial bruises from a workplace accident. Minor injuries wouldn’t require intensive medical treatment and wouldn’t prevent you from returning to work immediately.
You can even accept a first compensation offer for minor injuries if your doctor verifies you only need a simple treatment. However, it’s still better to consult with your lawyer before accepting any settlement offer from insurance adjusters.
On the other hand, you deserve huge or ongoing benefits if you sustain severe injuries that require intensive or continuous treatment. The compensation may also have to cover the long time you miss from work to pay your lost wages.
2. Did You Sustain a Temporary or Permanent Disability
Aside from severity, you should also consider how long you have to suffer because of the injury. For example, while it may not require ongoing treatments, leg amputation may significantly reduce your quality of life.
Your compensation should generally cover medical expenses and lost wages for temporary injuries. However, permanent disabilities may require additional benefits like:
- Lifetime disability benefits
- Vocational retraining expenses if you have to transfer to a different job position
Claiming workers’ comp for permanent disabilities is a complicated process. So, remember to hire a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer to get the lifetime benefits you deserve.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Glendale to Handle Settlement Offers
You must receive workers’ compensation for your workplace injuries. However, be careful when handling settlement offers to protect yourself from insufficient compensation and get the rightfully deserved amount.
A Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer will help you handle settlement offers and lead you toward your deserved benefits.