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An injury at work can interfere with your ability to earn a living wage for weeks, months or the rest of your life. It can also lead to expensive medical bills that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is critical to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement if you have a serious occupational injury or illness. Otherwise, you may settle for less money than you need to pay for both past and future losses.
Do not underestimate the importance of seeking immediate medical care for your work-related injury or illness. Not only is this key for your physical recovery, but it can also show an insurance company that you did your part as a client by going to a hospital right away. This can prevent the insurance company from using a delay in medical care against you to try to diminish your payout or dismiss your claim.
A worker’s comp insurance company will search for reasons to diminish the value of your claim. A common tactic is arguing that you did nothing to mitigate (reduce) your losses. If you did not go to a hospital right away, for example, the insurance company may argue that this made your injuries worse than they otherwise would have been and that you therefore deserve less compensation. To prevent this issue, see a doctor immediately and follow the medical treatment plan given to you exactly.
A good habit to form during a workers’ compensation claim is to keep a careful record of everything. Creating your own file with documents, data and information about your workplace accident can ensure you have everything an insurance company needs to process your claim.
Write down a detailed description of the accident as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your mind. Write down the names of anyone who was there to witness the accident and the person who made your work accident report. Take photographs at the scene of the accident for your records. After you go to a hospital, request copies of your medical records as well.
In California, the workers’ comp system gives you no more than 30 days from the date of your accident (or the date you discover your injury or illness) to report it to your employer. If you fail to report the incident to a supervisor or manager within 30 days, you will, in most cases, automatically lose the right to pursue workers’ comp benefits. It is very important to act quickly and not miss your deadline.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies make a profit by doing what they can to minimize how much they pay clients. During your workers’ comp claim, be careful not to trust the insurance company or any of its representatives, including the insurance claims adjuster assigned to process your claim.
The insurance company may try many tactics to avoid paying you the amount you deserve, including devaluing your injuries and losses. Do not sign anything, agree to anything or provide a recorded statement to the workers’ compensation insurance company before discussing your rights with an attorney.
If you are struggling with the workers’ comp insurance process or encountering challenges while trying to obtain a fair settlement, hire an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney for assistance. Hiring an attorney will give you a legal advocate and representative during the claims process. This can force the insurance company to treat you fairly and offer a settlement that accurately makes up for your losses.
For more advice on how to maximize your workers’ comp settlement in Orange County, request a free consultation at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo today.