The title to this blog is one of the most common questions we get during the claims process, and it’s a fair question, because nobody wants to feel that they’ve been shortchanged. There’s no easy answer to the question of whether or not you’ve received a fair settlement offer, but there are some ways you can do your own estimation and determine if the value is lower than what it really should be. Today, we explain some steps you can take to ensure you’re not getting lowballed by the insurance company after a work injury.
Getting a Fair Settlement Offer
Here’s how you can ensure you’re getting a fair settlement offer for your workers’ compensation claim:
1. Do The Math – This sounds obvious, but it’s not all that difficult to do some basic math to come up with a fair offer. For example, if you make $1,500 a week, and the doctor says you’re going to be out of work 2-3 months, an offer of $6,000 doesn’t make sense from a numbers standpoint. There are other factors to consider, but looking at your average paycheck and determining an estimate of how many days or weeks you are expected to miss is a decent start.
2. Don’t Forget The Extras – Aside from lost wages, you can also get compensated for your travel and medical expenses, among other things. You may not know what to expect out of future medical appointments, but if you’ve already been charged a couple thousand dollars for medical care, make sure that is factored into what you believe the offer should be. Ask your lawyer about how to calculate travel expenses or future earnings potential as well.
3. Keep Bills and Receipts – If you are factoring other expenses into your settlement offer, the insurance company is going to want proof of the expense total, and it’s much easier to produce those numbers if you have a copy of every bill or receipt related to your injury case. Records of gas expenses, car mileage, medical bills or healthcare supplies, therapy sessions or anything else related to your case should be documented and considered in your settlement offer.
4. Contact A Lawyer – This is probably the most important factor in determining if you have been offered a fair settlement. Your lawyer can add up all the relevant expenses and help quantify some expenses that may be up for interpretation, all which will help paint a clear picture of what you should be seeking for your compensation award. Although this is point number four, contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer should be the first thing you do if you want to make sure you’re not getting taken for a ride by the insurance company.
For more tips on how to maximize your settlement offer, or if you need help with your Minnesota workers’ compensation case, please reach out to Dean and the experienced legal team at Margolis Law Firm.
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