Have you been hurt on the job? You may consider yourself fortunate to have what your employer has provided for you at no charge: workers' comp insurance coverage. This insurance will pay your entire medical bill for any accident-related treatment, and it will even allow you to stay home and recuperate while taking a portion of your usual salary. While all this does cost the insurance money, you deserve to be covered for accidents and illnesses that occur because of your job. Read on to learn more about cost-saving measures by workers' comp insurance carriers that are likely not going to be in your best interest.
A Short Term Solution
This insurance coverage is actually meant to be a short term type of coverage; just long enough for you recover and then get back to work. In most cases, it works great since most injuries do heal in a few days or weeks and you are back to normal in no time at all. Unfortunately, the other side of coin is injuries that do not heal on the workers' comp schedule. This can mean that you are out of work for longer than normal, or even that you have an injury that will never heal enough for you to return to work.
How Long Will Your Injury Take to Heal?
While you may think that there's no real way of predicting how long injuries can take to heal, the workers' comp insurance carrier may have other ideas. Years of data from past claims have provided these carriers with endless amounts of statistics showing how long workers needed to be out of work for a given injury. For example, the data could show that a worker with a back injury takes, on average, about 2 months to return to work. If your injury is not healing in line with this guideline, you may encounter a problem with your continued ability to get benefits. Be sure to take action with a workers' comp attorney if you are being asked to return to your job and you are still in pain.
Taking the Easy Way Out
Another emerging issue is the workers' comp carrier's tendency to offer settlements too early. On the face, it doesn't look like a big problem, but it can be if the full extent of your injury is not known. For example, if you injured your back and need to have surgery, you may be offered a settlement before you even have the surgery. What if the surgery is not a success? You have signed away your rights to seek more compensation by agreeing to the settlement. Make sure that you know the full measure of your injury before accepting a lump sum settlement. Speak to a workers' comp attorney to ensure that you not only get everything you deserve, but that the settlement payment is well-structured to make the most of other benefits programs, like Social Security.