Dolman Law Group represents those injured on the job. A workers compensation claim can occur in a number of ways. The most common is when you sustain an injury while in the course and scope of your employment. However, “course and scope of employment,” is defined more broadly than you might think. A claim can include an injury that does not occur on the job but is casually related to your employment. Certain worker’s compensation claims are combined with a personal injury claim. We represent individuals in various types of personal injury cases as well. We’re happy to discuss your specific circumstances during a free consultation. You can reach our New Port Richey office at 727-853-6275.
In addressing the question, “When does my worker’s compensation claim have the most value?” Another way of asking this question is, “when would the worker’s compensation be likely to pay the most in the form of a settlement?” When worker’s compensation carriers evaluate a case for settlement purposes, their focus is on future exposure. Expenses they’ve paid in the past are not major factor in making an evaluation. Unlike a personal injury claim, past expenses attributable to surgical intervention, physical therapy, pain management, wage loss payments, etc., do not make the claim more valuable. Settlements of worker’s claims are voluntary. You cannot force the insurance company to settle and neither can they force you to settle. The time when your claim would have the most potential value is if you undergo an evaluation with a doctor authorized by the worker’s compensation carrier and receive a recommendation to undergo surgery. At that time, the carrier is in a position where their future exposure is at one of its highest points. The carrier has a number of options. Any one of the following options costs the carrier money.
- Pay for the surgery.
- Put the money in your pocket in the form of a settlement.
- Pay their attorney to defend the claim.
- Pay for you to undergo an evaluation with a different doctor of their choosing, and incur the expense of defense attorney fees in using the other medical opinion to try and avoid payment for the recommended surgery.
With a surgical recommendation pending, some clients ask that we determine what the insurance company would offer. The carrier can either pay the costs associated with the options listed above or put the money in your pocket. Given the issues that can arise while undergoing surgery and follow up treatment, we understand having an interest in settling. With the settlement, you’re free to pursue whatever option you wish. Inquiring as to what would be offered to settle your case DOES NOT mean you give up ANY of your rights under worker’s compensation. The important point is that if you choose to settle your claim instead of undergoing surgery, the carrier is likely to pay more than at any other time. As explained, it is a point when the carrier faces the most potential future exposure.
After having surgery, you can still determine if the carrier is willing to settle. However, the amount that would be offered would not include the expense associated with whatever surgery you underwent.
On a regular basis, we undertake representation of individuals who were previously represented by another attorney / law firm. Meaning, individuals switch attorneys to become clients of Dolman Law Group. The reasons people feel more confident with us is something we’re certainly proud of. People decide to switch to our law firm for a number of reasons. One of the reasons relayed is that they receive more information from us about not just their options, but about the worker’s compensation system in general.
Another reason is an improved level of communication. With our 4 offices located in New Port Richey, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Bradenton, we’re likely to have a location convenient for you. If you can’t come to us, we’ve found ways to meet with you.
Many mistakenly believe that a worker’s compensation claim is a lawsuit directly against their employer only. A workers compensation claim is simply an injured worker’s right to worker’s compensation benefits as a result of being injured in the course and scope of their employment. It is the worker’s compensation carrier, the insurance company responsible for providing worker’s compensation coverage, that we’re focused on pursuing worker’s compensation benefits from on your behalf.
Worker’s compensation benefits are both monetary and medical. Monetary benefits include lost wages paid at the correct rate, impairment benefits, adjustment of your average weekly wage due to a carrier’s improper determination, (something that occurs frequently), and payment for past due wages as a result of the insurance company not paying your lost wages, or paying you at an incorrect rate. Unless you know the formulas used in calculating what your lost wage payments should be, you won’t know whether you are receiving the full amount you’re entitled to. Luckily for you, we know the applicable formulas. We’re happy to discuss your wages with you during a free, no obligation, consultation. Our office number in New Port Richey is 727-853-6275.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652