Quicker Is Not Always Better When Workers' Compensation Is Involved

If you have been hurt on the job, you can count on your employer's workers' comp coverage to help you. From your very first day off work, you can expect to have your medical expenses taken care of completely and to also earn a portion of your salary while you stay home and get better from your injury. Sometimes, however, the worst happens and you are not able to go back to work at all. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you have a work-related permanent injury.

How long do your benefits last?

Since this form of help is really supposed to be a temporary measure, you may not be able to draw the usual workers' comp benefits indefinitely. In fact, the insurance carrier probably has a good idea of how long your injury might continue to affect you based on their database of past cases. You should keep in mind that your workers' comp benefit is not provided to you by a government agency, but is instead a privately held for-profit company. When they have to continue paying you for your injury, they are losing profits and that affects their bottom line. At some point, things will have to change and that change is often preceded by a request for you undergo a special kind of medical exam.

What happens when you have a permanent injury?

This special medical exam will tell the insurance carrier more about your injury, and if you have reached the pinnacle of your recovery even if you are still totally or partially disabled (which is known in workers' comp language as the maximum medical improvement). You may move into another phase of benefits. Your benefits will change with the offer of a settlement, which is meant to sustain you for the remainder of your working days. In most cases, things proceed in this manner, but increasingly, hurt workers are being offered settlements soon after their injuries. You should understand that this is likely not to your benefit.

Why don't quick settlement offers benefit you?

The workers' comp insurance agency is counting on you accepting this quick offer, which is usually a lump sum amount of compensation. While this may seem fine to you, you should understand that accepting this offer means that you will never get another dime from this workers' comp carrier, no matter how much worse your injury turns out to be. In some cases, the full extent of your injury cannot be determined until much later on, and then it will too late to ask for more money.

Speak with a workers' compensation attorney right away if you have been offered a settlement and get the help and expertise you need to fully evaluate any offers.