Tips to Maximize Your Workers Compensation
When you’re hurt at work, your injury can have far-reaching consequences. It can be difficult to tell how an injury will affect you 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. That’s why it’s important to get the maximum amount of compensation you can, now. It’s not about greed; it’s about protecting you and your family’s future.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money – not looking out for your best interests. When faced with their lawyers and adjusters, it helps to have a strong advocate on your side. Fields Law Firm is one of the largest and most respected work injury law firms in Minnesota. Our Minnesota Workers’ Compensation lawyers help injured workers get the benefits they need every day.
4 Ways to Maximize Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Follow these simple steps to give yourself the best chance of maximizing your potential workers’ compensation claim:
- Attend all doctor’s appointments and follow your treatment plan.
Don’t “tough it out” and put off going to the doctor. Complications from injuries can take years to manifest and by the time you just can’t stand it anymore, it may be too late to get compensation. Medical records can be instrumental in demonstrating the severity of your injury, how well it will heal, and how long it will take to heal. Treatment costs are one of the larger expenses you’ll face after an on-the-job injury. Having detailed records that show what kinds of care you need, and are likely to need in the future, can help ensure you’ll get benefits to pay for that care.
- Don’t accept the insurance company’s first offer.
Insurance companies are accountable to their shareholders – not you. They’re focused on profit margins, not doing what’s best for you and your family. Often, the insurance company’s initial offer for a Workers Compensation settlement amount will be lower than what you really need. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney at Fields Law before accepting any offer from the insurance company. The initial consultation is free, so you can get answers to your questions with no obligation. And if you don’t need a lawyer, we’ll tell you so.
- Don’t give up if your claim was denied.
Many initial claims for workers’ compensation get denied. But a large percentage succeed on appeal. Your denial could be due to a simple oversight or paperwork mistake, or the insurance company might determine you’re not eligible for compensation. If you were denied, the Minnesota workers compensation lawyers at Fields Law can review your initial claim, help you understand why you were denied, and file a strong appeal.
- Contact an attorney at Fields Law.
At Field Law, you never pay any upfront Workers’ Comp Attorney Fees, and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand what benefits you may be entitled to, what kinds of compensation you may need for future expenses, and whether the insurance company’s offer is fair. Fields Law helps Minnesotans across the state get the help they need. You don’t have to be an expert on workers’ compensation law – that’s why we’re here. Put our experience to work for you.
In some cases, even after you settle, you may still be able to seek more compensation in the future. But for some types of settlements, you only get one shot. It’s important to make sure you have the money you need to protect your future. Don’t leave money on the table – call us anytime, and we’ll help you figure out how to maximize your compensation.
How can I be sure I’m receiving all of the workers’ compensation benefits I’m entitled to, both now and in the future?
By yourself, you cannot. Without legal representation or personal training in workers’ compensation law, you are at the mercy of the insurance carrier and, more specifically, the adjuster who is handling your claim. Whenever possible, insurance companies find ways to shave, delay, exclude, or otherwise discontinue your benefits for many different reasons. Let’s face it, that’s their job. They make money by hanging onto your money, so insurance carriers implement systems to make sure that happens for as long as possible.
The only way to be certain you are receiving your fair share is to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. At the outset of a claim, good claim adjusters try to reassure injured employees and establish themselves as the point of contact for all questions related to the claim. That way they can control the claim and try to minimize the cost to the carrier.
Some adjusters do right by the injured employee – approving medical expenses and paying the correct amount of benefits on time. But the last thing you want to do is rely on the claim adjuster’s entreaty to “just call me with any questions” if you have concerns about your benefits. Adjusters usually won’t lie to you (at least they’re not supposed to), but they’re not going to tell you the whole truth, either.
For instance, say you’re hurt, out of work, and collecting some benefit checks while you’re out. How much is that check for? And why is it that amount? If you ask the adjuster that question, you’re asking the person who chose that amount. So chances are the adjuster will tell you the amount you’re receiving is exactly the correct amount, whether it is or not.
What if I think my workers’ comp check amount is wrong?
Many times, the workers’ comp benefits check is not the correct amount. The amount of your benefit checks rely on what’s known as your “average weekly wage“. The method of calculating your average weekly wage is governed by statute, and as with all laws, it is subject to interpretation based on the facts at hand. So, if you do not seek outside counsel, you are relying on the judgment of a claim adjuster to decide your average weekly wage.
On any given litigated worker’s compensation claim, the attorneys on opposite sides will often disagree on average weekly wage to some extent because they each have different interpretations of the calculation. So, there are varying opinions on that all-important number. And the adjuster’s default is to minimize the carrier’s costs, to alter your claim downward.
Besides average weekly wage, there are countless areas where it pays to consult with a professional to make sure you’re maximizing your workers’ compensation benefits, including:
- Medical benefits: denials of work-related treatment, payment of prescriptions, mileage, etc.
- Rehabilitation benefits: medical and vocational management, job placement, retraining.
- Supplementary benefits: for older dates of injury.
- Future benefits: ongoing wage-loss and medical settlements.
The only way to be sure your adjuster is has calculated the correct benefit amount or otherwise improperly discontinued or denied benefits in the past, present, and future is to call the Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyers at Fields Law. It pays to do it today, so that you can rest easy knowing you are receiving all of the benefits you deserve.
Wondering where your workers comp check is? See our blog post to learn more about benefits that have been discontinued or denied, as well as how long it takes to get a workers comp settlement check.