Working with an attorney from our firm who regularly calculates fair settlements can help you figure out how to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement. This way, you can be sure you have not forgotten to ask for something or accidentally undervalued your injuries.
When our legal team represents an injured worker, we bring experience and legal knowledge to the table and strongly protect your rights. A workers’ compensation lawyer from our office can ensure that an insurance company does not undervalue your case. You can trust us to keep your goals and needs in mind as we negotiate.
Considering the Settlement That Is Best for You
Several types of settlement agreements based on your needs and circumstances may be possible. We will review your situation and help you decide which payment option is right for you.
The largest immediate payout would likely come from a “clincher” settlement. This is otherwise known as a full settlement. You would need to sign a final release stating that you will not try to seek additional money in the future.
Some settlement agreements offer a smaller lump-sum initial payment. They continue payment for some related medical needs within the first year after the agreement or another similar time frame.
Lastly, some settlements may include only one type of benefit, such as lost wages. You will continue to have covered medical care but receive a lump-sum payment only for your income replacement benefits.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-326-3333
Understanding Your Covered Losses
You must understand your full range of covered losses to determine if a settlement offer you receive is fair. According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC), you may qualify for some or all the following benefits:
- Medical treatment: While your employer can choose your doctor, you have the right to any treatment that “is likely to lessen your disability.”
- Lost wages: You could receive up to two-thirds of your regular weekly wage for as long as you need to recover (within certain limits).
- Travel expenses: If your employer’s chosen doctor is more than a 10-mile round trip from your house, you could be paid for your travel expenses.
- Scarring: If you have an impairment rating or visible non-surgical scar, you can recover compensation. Determining the value of this impairment or scar requires an informal conference with a representative from the insurer and an SCWCC commissioner.
Calculating Your Settlement
One way we ensure our clients’ chances for a fair settlement is by collecting testimonies and documents that confirm the seriousness of their injuries and losses. For example, we might seek evidence from the following sources:
- Statements from your fellow employees or anyone else who saw the accident
- Medical records and reports that link your injury with the accident and prove that certain treatments were necessary
- Police reports if the authorities came to the accident scene
- Statements from your doctor or a medical expert that confirm the injury would prevent you from working and require the treatments you receive or want to receive
You can learn more about the workers’ compensation benefits calculations under S.C. Ann. § 42-9.
Enlisting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney’s Help
While your employer must file a copy of the settlement agreement with the SCWCC, it only considers and approves agreements if the employee does not have an attorney, per S.C. Ann. § 42-9-190. While this provides added protection against a bad settlement, a commissioner might not protect your rights as well as your attorney would.
Not only will an attorney from our office handle the settlement negotiation process to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement, but we could also:
- Calculate your claim’s potential value – we know what to consider and how to put a price on your future care needs
- Collect evidence that proves your employer is financially liable for your injuries and should pay the amount you are asking for
- Work with experts to come up with a fair settlement range they can support with evidence and precedent
- Handle administrative tasks, such as paperwork, which we must submit correctly and within strict deadlines to keep your case on track
- Communicate directly with your employer, the insurer, and the commission on your behalf
- Make time to answer any questions you have during the process and guide you toward the best possible legal decisions
Workers’ Compensation Cases Can Get Complicated
Workers’ compensation settlements take many factors into account. Negotiating a fair one requires you to take several complex steps. You must have a strong knowledge of:
- Your medical condition, necessary treatment, and prognosis
- Your ability to return to work
- How much money you have lost because of the injury and how much money you may lose in the future
- Knowledge of how workers’ compensation laws work in South Carolina
For most injured or sick workers, the simplest option may be to let a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm take care of things. With our compassionate, supportive, and knowledgeable legal team on your side, you can focus on finishing your treatment, recovering from your injuries, and getting your life back.
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Workers’ compensation settlements are not right for every employee or every situation. We will assess your case at no cost to you and advise you on your options for financial recovery.