Determining How Much Your Workers Comp Case is Worth
If you have been injured at work and are going through the process of filing a claim, you have taken the first step in advocating for yourself and making sure that you get the compensation and medical treatment you need. However, as you will soon find out, this can be a lengthy, time consuming and stressful process.
If you hope to settle your claim, meaning that your weekly payment schedule would stop and you would instead agree on a lump-sum or regular schedule of compensation with the workers comp insurance company, a lawyer can be particularly useful - in fact, with any serious injury, it would be crazy to try to settle the case yourself.
First off, knowing how much your weekly compensation should be is fairly straightforward – it is two-thirds of your average weekly wage over the past 26 weeks for workers in Washington, D.C. - and it includes all of your work during that time, including a second or third job. However, knowing how much to settle your workers comp claim for is a different story.
Your settlement can depend on whether you have incurred a permanent injury that stops you from working entirely in the future or a partial permanent injury that required surgery or will permanently prevent you from functioning in the same way you did before the injury. There are a lot of other factors to consider as well - how much you were earning before the injury, how much you can earn after the injury (if you can work at all) and how you can prove that, plus your age, education level, background, training, skills, medications you need to take (and their effect on you), medical treatment you need - all of these factors and more need to be analyzed.
Any settlement should be the best thing for you - and that will vary depending on what you want and need - we spend a lot of time with you getting this right because every person is different and this is not one size fits all.
Settlements are helpful in that they give you a guaranteed monetary award as compensation for your injury and they let you move on with your life - you know it's going to be OK and you don't have the stress and anxiety of the case hanging over you. Of course, if you wish to proceed with litigation, the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer is also essential, but it can be harder to predict what the outcome will be - settlement gives you control. In litigation, the result is up to a judge, and out of your control.
Laws in different states regarding workers’ compensation vary quite a bit, so it is important to hire a lawyer who is an expert in your area. We deal with countless cases involving workers’ compensation in D.C. and can help you get the compensation you deserve, and help you determine whether its best to settle or not. Though it is hard to quantify what your settlement might look like in the beginning of your case, we work hard with you to set the case up, right from the start, to maximize the benefits or settlement you'll ultimately get.
If you believe you have a case or have questions about workers’ compensation cases in D.C., call us at 202-393-3320. There’s no obligation associated with calling, and we are happy to send you our signature workers compensation book, the only one of its kind, written by a nationally Board Certified trial lawyer, at absolutely no cost to you.