LOUISIANA WORKERS' COMPENSATION SETTLEMENTS
How do you know when is the right time to settle your
Louisiana Workers Compensation claim?
How do you figure out how much your Louisiana Workers
Compensation settlement should
There are two good sources of
information to help you decide if it’s the right time to
try to reach a Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement:
First, talk to your doctors and get copies of your medical
records. Ask your doctors about your future treatment
options and the impact of your medical condition upon your
ability to return to work. Find out what your doctors will
tell the insurance company about your need for future
medical treatment and your work related limitations, now and
in the future.
Secondly, talk to an experienced Louisiana Workers Compensation
attorney about how the Louisiana Workers Compensation laws relate to
your case. You need to be able to make realistic estimates
about what's likely to happen if you don't settle your
claim. You also need to know what impact a Louisiana
Workers Compensation settlement might
have on your ability to get future medical treatment, a new
job, Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, health
insurance, long-term disability benefits or Louisiana Workers
Compensation benefits if you have another injury. Ask the
lawyer a lot of questions. What if you know you can
never go back to work on a regular basis? What if you
already know about a job that you would like to pursue? What
if your doctor says you need another surgery but you really
don't want to get it? What if you feel like you need more
medical treatment and your doctor doesn't seem to
if the insurance company might have video of you exceeding
the limitations your doctor said you should follow?
How will a settlement impact your spouse or children? Ask.
Ask. Ask. That is what the lawyer is there for - to provide
you with advice and to be your advocate.
If you have a significant
injury, you will not be able to make an informed decision
about whether and when to resolve your claim until after you
talk to your doctors and talk to a lawyer.
The timing of your Louisiana
Workers Compensation settlement
is a very important factor that impacts how much you will be
paid in resolution of your claim. If the insurance company
makes you an offer to settle your claim, you've probably
waited too long. Don't wait for them to make the first move.
You should always make the first offer, and back it up with
strong evidence and a good legal argument. Once the
insurance company representatives make up their minds about
how much they think your Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement should be, it's a real
challenge to get them to pay substantially more.
If you wait until after
you’ve had a
Functional Capacity Evaluation, the insurance
company's Vocational Expert has compiled
a list of jobs they
claim are available in your area, and your doctor has
released you to return to work, you have probably waited too
long. It’s going to be very difficult to convince a Judge
that you are not able to return to work when your own
doctor, who may have treated you for years, says you can.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the doctor is right, but it
will provide the insurance company representatives with
evidence that shows you can return to some type of work. At
this point, the insurance company may believe they are
justified in stopping or reducing your benefits. You will
then be in the position of trying to negotiate a Louisiana
Workers Compensation settlement
while you have no income coming in or while you are trying
to find a job.
In all of these situations,
you can still settle your claim. But you may have passed up
the type of settlement you could have received if you had
made a well-timed offer backed up by a clear description of
how the medical evidence supports your case and a detailed
explanation of the important areas in which the law is on
What can you recover when you
settle your Workers Compensation claim? A Louisiana
Workers Compensation settlement is an agreement in which a
Workers Compensation insurance company pays an injured
employee, in a single lump-sum payment, or in guaranteed
annual payments, part or all of the wage benefits and
medical benefits that the employee would otherwise be
expected to receive on a periodic basis. The parties may
also settle any claims that the employee may have for
overdue benefits, penalties and attorney's fees.
Some of the most important
factors you and your attorney need to consider when figuring
out the appropriate settlement for your claim are:
Have you applied for Social Security Disability?
Click here for more information
about why this is important.
What medical treatment will you need in the future and
how much will it cost?
Do you expect your doctors will release you to return to
work? Have you asked your doctors what they think about
your work capabilities, now or in the future?
Has the insurance company's doctor or an Independent
Medical Examiner released you to return to work?
Do you believe you’re able to return to work, even if
it’s only to a part-time or light duty position?
Does the employer you were working for at the time you
were injured have a job available for you now?
What was your income before you were injured?
How does you pre-injury income compare to the income
you’re currently earning or are currently able to earn?
Answering this question involves determining the exact
restrictions imposed by your doctors and the results of
any Functional Capacity Evaluation or Labor Market
Survey performed during your claim.
Are all of the medical problems and issues that impact
your ability to work well documented in your medical
records? Do you have medical problems that you have not
discussed with you doctor?
Are you owed wage benefits, or penalties and attorney’s
fees, because your benefits were underpaid or
People receive widely varying
amounts from a Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement. Though you can calculate the net present value of
your right to receive Louisiana Workers Compensation benefits in the
future, there is no formula to calculate exactly how much
your Louisiana Workers Compensation settlement should be.
I offer a free telephone
consultation so you can get a general overview of how the
law applies to your case, understand what some of your
options are and determine whether a settlement would be
my office (800) 851-9405 or send me an email using the form at
the top of this page to schedule a
consultation to discuss your case.