How Do Workers Compensation Settlements Work?

Workplace accidents and injuries are more common than you think. In fact, statistics state that almost 2.8 million injuries took place in the USA in 2019 alone, with companies spending almost $62 billion on lost-time. To protect employers and workers from financial loses as a result of fatal injuries at the work place, Alabama requires employers to carry workers compensation insurance. 

Here’s everything you should know about Workers Compensation settlements.

If a workplace injury has resulted in a disability, impairment, or a physical or mental injury that can limit your ability to work, you can receive benefits from your workers compensation settlement and insurance. 

Typically, insurance companies set an amount of payment that you will receive on a weekly basis. However, if you don’t agree with the payment, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the company, or take the case to court to receive increased benefits with the help of a professional personal injury lawyer.

There are different types of worker settlements. In most states, you can agree to a total lump-sum payment from the company, rather than receiving weekly checks. This settlement can include economic damages such as payment of current and future medical bills and conditions as a result of the injury, disability payments, and more.

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Most worker compensation settlements pay a percentage of the average weekly wage, and can depend on the employee’s average earnings. It also depends on the type of injury, and whether you’ve been partially or fully disabled as a result of it. Each state also has a maximum weekly wage, and the more severe the injury is, the longer the payments last.

The amount that you receive in your worker’s compensation case depends on a number of things, including:

  • The injuries that you have sustained
  • What work was being performed when you got injured
  • The risks of your job

When an employee suffers an injury at work, they should ideally report to their supervisor ASAP, or they may risk losing their benefits. According to the statute of limitations, employees may have between 72 hours to 2 years to report an injury in court, with the state of Alabama allowing for a deadline of two years.

Employers should get the employee immediate medical attention, investigate the incident by documenting what happened and collecting witnesses and taking pictures. Lastly, they should file a claim to their insurance company for a worker’s compensation case.

Worker compensation claims are denied by insurance companies if they are self-inflicted, occurred while the employee was intoxicated or on their way to work, or caused by fighting. If a claim is approved, then the employee has a choice to either accept the payment and settlement amount, or take to court to negotiate a settlement amount that they think is fairer.

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In terms of a worker’s compensation case, it’s a good idea to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They’ll be able to calculate a fair settlement, and can even negotiate a higher settlement with the insurance company. A worker’s compensation settlement often covers the fee for a personal injury lawyer, so looking for an experienced and expert lawyer should be your top priority. 

Your personal injury lawyer will also take your case to court if you do not agree with the settlement amount. During the trial, a judge will review your case, and be able to determine a fair amount of payment for the damages that you may have incurred. 

The wording of your settlement is crucial to protect your rights to other payments and benefits in the future, making it a necessity to hire a professional personal injury lawyer. 

Before the settlement has been signed, you should be able to answer these questions:

  • whether or not your compensation claim will be closed following the settlement, or is it open to change in the case of future medical bills
  • whether the settlement includes the entire lump-sum payment, or whether you may be eligible to permanent disability 

A judge will then review your case in an informal conference.

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Hare | Wynn, Newell & Newton is a law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. With a team of highly experienced expert lawyers, they deal with many personal injury cases such as birth injuries, catastrophic injuries, medical malpractice, medication error, and more.

Get in touch with them for more info

The author is a senior columnist specializing in personal injury law to help clients recover appropriate financial compensation for their damages. She enjoys writing for Hare | Wynn, Newell & Newton regularly and is a leading professional in the industry.

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Last modified: August 2, 2021

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