There are two ways to settle your case in workers’ compensation. The first is to take a lump sum payment. The second is to receive 2 payments every month over a set amount of time. A lump sum settlement would much end your case. If your condition becomes worse or you continue to have pain, under a lump sum settlement the insurance company is not responsible for providing any additional compensation or medical treatment. You would be responsible for all your medical treatment for your injuries. If you don’t have access to medical insurance or a good discount clinic that could provide treatment or pain medication, then there’s really nothing you can do.
If, however, you don’t settle for a lump sum, the insurance company is required to provide medical treatment for life, even though your case is closed and final as far as the amount of money you’re going to get for your injury. Furthermore, settling for weekly payments gives you the opportunity to reopen your case within five years from the date of your initial injury to see if your condition has gotten worse. If it has, then you could be entitled to additional compensation for your injury.
Should I Hire An Attorney Right After An Injury Or Wait For A Denial Or A Limited Benefit Offer?
Some may say this is self-serving, but if you ask me (or any other attorney), I would say to hire an attorney immediately. You’re going to get better medical treatment, since you will not be going to an industrial medical clinic. Most people don’t know they have a right to choose a doctor that is not associated with an industrial medical clinic. The longer you go without hiring an attorney, the greater the odds are that your recovery might not go well. Your doctor could be sending you back to work to soon, causing it to take longer for you to heal or worse you reinjure yourself.
Another reason is that with a good attorney you can focus on getting better, while your attorney deals with the insurance company and takes the necessary steps to ensure you get the medical treatment you need.
In the rare case that the insurance company does everything they are supposed to do and help you get a good doctor; you’re still going to get a better settlement with an attorney than you would without one. In most cases you will end up with more money in your pocket after attorney fees are deducted then you would if you settled with the insurance company on your own. I have had cases where the client had already gotten a final offer. They hired me because they felt the offer was too low. In the end I was able to get them a significant amount more than they were originally offered.
Another reason why it’s good to have an attorney throughout the whole process is, if you’re unhappy with the findings of your treating doctor, you can obtain a neutral doctor. It’s very difficult without the proper resources to investigate these doctors. There are neutral doctors who are more sympathetic to the employees, there are doctors who are more sympathetic or extremely sympathetic to the employer, and then there are doctors who fall somewhere in the middle. If you don’t know who these doctors are and you get one that is extremely sympathetic to the employer, then you’re going ensure you get the least amount of compensation for your injury that they can justify.
Finally, hiring an attorney means you have someone there who knows the process and will be able to explain and guide you through the process.
What Sets You And Your Firm Apart In Handling Workers’ Compensation Cases In California?
One of the things that I think sets me apart from a lot of workers’ compensation firms is that you have an attorney personally work on your case. Even though there is a paralegal or an assistant who does certain things on your case, I’m the actual person overseeing everything being done on your case.
I also make sure I’m accessible to my clients. Every client gets my cellphone number for emergencies, which most clients end up needing to use at some point. With me, you don’t have to worry about your attorney not being available whenever you call. If you need to talk with me and I’m not available when you call, or if it’s something more complicated where we’re going to have to go into your file to see what’s going on so I can answer your questions, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment with me—not with a paralegal, not with a legal assistant, but the actual attorney responsible for your case.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (323) 991-5915 today.
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