Advice From a Boynton Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
A very nice caller contacted us after undergoing surgery following a workplace accident. She explained that she had been injured at work and the work comp insurance company had paid for surgery, lost wages, medications and more. When she asked them to settle she was astonished at how low the offer was. When she declined the money the adjuster told her to just keep the case open and that there would be no settlement.
The caller wanted to know how the work comp carrier was able to refuse to offer any additional money other than what she called chump change. She wanted to know if the workers’ compensation adjuster was allowed to refuse to pay real money and if she could go to the judge to get her fair day in court.
In Florida, settlement is voluntary. This means that both parties have to agree to a lump sum settlement. The insurance carrier doesn’t have to offer you a penny. The flip side of that coin (no pun intended) is that the injured worker does not have to take a penny less than what they want.
The real kicker is that the workers’ compensation judge does not have the power, or ability, to tell you what your case is worth and award a lump sum settlement. A judge can order a workers’ compensation carrier to pay for medical care or lost wages, but not to force them to pay a lump sum settlement to close a case.
We explained this to our caller and she asked how an injured worker like herself can know what her case is truly worth and how to know if work comp was playing fair or low balling her.
We explained that the best way to make sure an injured worker gets the most for their case without leaving a penny on the negotiation table is to hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. A Boynton Beach work injury compensation lawyer who knows how to handle a case would gather medical records, review diagnostic reports and speak with doctors to determine the present and anticipated future medical care. They then calculate the workers’ compensation financial exposure for both medical care and lost wages. After including other benefits that the work comp carrier will never voluntarily tell you about, we come up with a demand and request the carrier pay you the appropriate amount of money if they want you to drop the case and go away.
Most insurance companies don’t like this scenario. They never want to see an injured worker hire an attorney and file a claim. You’d think that they wouldn’t be so stingy and that they would offer unrepresented injured workers more that chump change. But they don’t. They try and offer the least amount of money to get out cheap.
Even if the workers’ compensation adjuster offers a settlement that seems to be appropriate, it most likely is not. Remember, insurance adjusters are handling cases for a living. They are trained to look and listen for clues from injured workers showing that they are desperate for money. Car about to get repo’d? Your back isn’t that bad, why not settle? Need rent or else getting evicted? Knee looks good, let’s close that case.
Whatever they offer, it’s not enough.
If you want to make sure you get the full value of your case, call a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer today.