Bellenot & Boufford, LLC
FAQ – Workers’ Compensation
Knowledge and Action With Bellenot & Boufford, LLC = Results
With the economic troubles so many families and individuals face today, is there money due to you that can help get you through these difficult times?
Know Your Rights
Q. I HAVE AN OLD WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE. I NO LONGER WORK FOR THE COMPANY. CAN I GO BACK FOR TREATMENT OR SETTLE MY CASE?
A. Technically, yes. If you have not closed your case, your workers’ compensation claim remains open your entire life. It does not matter if you don’t work for the company anymore or even if the company is still in existence. The insurance company is the entity that you deal with, not the employer. Now while you can always seek more treatment, it doesn’t mean that the insurance company is going to approve it. They will want to know information about you from the last time your case was active. Information they will likely request will include what work you have been doing, if you have been involved in any other accidents or suffered any other injuries. They may also want updated medical records. If the cause of your current complaints is not clear after reviewing the records, a statement from your doctor connecting your current symptoms to your work injury may be necessary. If, after all of this your request for further medical treatment is still not approved, you may request a hearing for a commissioner to make a recommendation on the matter. As for settling your case, the opportunity exists as you have an open case. However, the insurance company has to also want to settle and you and the representative will have to agree on a figure. Insurance companies usually indicate an interest in settling. However, the amount they are willing to pay and the amount you are willing to accept will determine if your case actually settles.
This question has been asked with increasing frequency lately as people are looking for any extra money they can get during these tough economic times. An unsettled workers’ compensation case is a resource for additional funds and should be explored. A consultation with our office will help you determine if settlement would be a good option for you and what your case may be worth.
Q. I HAVE REPRESENTED MYSELF IN MY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION MATTER. THE INSURANCE COMPANY HAS OFFERED ME MONEY TO SETTLE. HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S ENOUGH?
A. It is very difficult for someone who is not an attorney to value cases for settlement. The only information one may have about workers’ compensation is what someone else got for their case. However, every case is very different and this comparison method will almost always lead to incorrect results. The injuries, the body parts, the disability, the compensability of the injury, the age of the injured worker, the compensation rate, the medical treatment and the future prognosis are all taken into consideration when valuing a case for settlement. These factors vary from person to person.
One thing is for sure: if the insurance company is offering you money to settle, the amount is almost certainly too low. It is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney when settling your case. When someone calls our office regarding this situation, we offer to do a file review. For a nominal flat fee, we review all of the paperwork and audit the file to make sure you have received all the benefits that you are entitled to. We then calculate a settlement range. We then have a consultation with you to explain the case history, identify where you are now and what options you have going forward, including settlement. At that point you have the option of taking the information and proceeding on your own or hiring us to represent you going forward.
Without the benefit of the file review, we would be unable to comment of the value of your case.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help With Your Workers’ Comp Claim
Free and Meaningful Phone Consultations
We offer free initial phone consultations. If you have been injured at work, you can discuss your rights and options with a lawyer from our firm, free of charge. We want you to have the information you need to make sound decisions in your case.