The worker’s compensation program in America was designed to provide financial assistance to employees that sustain an injury while on the job. The goal of the program is for the employing company, or its insurance carrier, to pay for all medical costs associated with the injury and, in some cases, a percentage of wages that have been lost due to missing time while recovering. This is a right, granted to any employee and, if the employing company refuses to pay, there are grounds to file a lawsuit against it.
The goal of the workman’s comp case is always going to be to win enough to cover medical expenses. Therefore, the exact amount that any given case is worth is going to vary. However, it does give a benchmark for how to calculate a settlement in a worker’s comp case. The amount that one might hope to win, essentially, is based on the same amount the employing company or insurance company would anticipate paying on the claim.
A settlement, in any civil law case, is the amount that the party being sued offers to pay to end the case before it begins. The appeal of this concept is the assessment that either side may anticipate losing the case and therefore might want to “take what they can get” rather than risk going to trial and failing to win anything. In a worker’s compensation case, the insurance company or employer is hoping that by offering a settlement, a fixed amount, the claim would be dropped. Therefore, the settlement amount is most likely less than what they would end up paying if they lose the case.
The catch, and the most important thing to remember in a worker’s compensation case, is that you, as the injured employee, have the law on your side. When weighing out a settlement, always consult with an attorney that is well-versed in worker’s compensation law first because more often than not, that attorney will be able to help you win more than the settlement would pay out.
We at the Franco Law Firm would be honored to serve you in this role. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and is seeking worker’s compensation, please call us at (813) 872-0929 to schedule a free consultation today.