Alabama Workers Compensation Law

What Is My Workers' Compensation Case Worth?

This is a more complicated question than most people realize. In order to answer the question, one must be able to determine a worker's degree of disability. For example, a person who has no lingering effects from an injury and goes back to work making the same money and working the same hours he did before the injury may be entitled to no settlement at all. On the other hand, a person with several surgeries and numerous restrictions may be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in order to evaluate either case, one must know the degree of disability, and this is something that is typically not known until the end of medical treatment and even then is usually a matter of great dispute.

Usually one of the worst ways to judge the value of your comp case is by listening to family and friends' stories about how a friend of a friend got X amount of dollars for an injury just like yours. Workers' compensation cases are very unusual in that they fall under a specialized area of the law. The amount of money paid in a compensation case is based on factors that are radically different from those in any other kind of case. There are a number of caps and deductions that are part of the law that limit an injured worker's recovery. Just as important, there are a number of ways to calculate the amount that is owed in a workers' compensation case. For these reasons, it is very difficult to determine how much a worker should be paid; sometimes this is not even easy for an attorney with years of experience. A worker without representation is at a huge disadvantage when he or she is negotiating a settlement based on these calculations.

Insurance adjusters know that there are various ways to make these calculations, so what they typically do is use the most conservative method and present it to the unrepresented worker as the calculation that they are entitled to under law. While this is technically true, the adjuster will not tell you that another calculation may be much higher and also may be what you are entitled to under law.

In short, about the only chance you have of getting a reliably accurate calculation of your claim is go to a lawyer you trust and provide that lawyer with all the available information on your claim. Even in these circumstances, there may be more than one answer to this important question.

Alabama Workers Compensation Law

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