Being injured on the job is a nightmare scenario that needs to be prepared for. Whether you're obviously impaired for life or unsure of how your recovery will unfold, you need to have a set of safety measures that go beyond cash settlements. Before celebrating a workers compensation package or injury settlement, consider a few conditions that should be negotiated before signing anything.
Percentage-Based Settlements Versus Set Amounts
The easiest settlement path for your legal opponent or the insurance system is to pay you off with one specific amount. You accept the payment for your troubles and move on. Unfortunately, some injuries may require more than a specific amount.
Your opponent may be relying on the chance that you're easily swayed by large sums of money. There's nothing inherently wrong with taking more money than you've seen at one time, but you need to think about how far that money will go.
If you're injured enough to be offered a settlement amount or monthly compensation, you could have a condition that will take money out of your pocket for the rest of your life. The cost of medical visits, medication and even complications from the original injury may spur new costs that can consume your settlement while you're still suffering.
You may be in a position where your job can cover the costs while using the settlement as a comfortable cushion, but what happens if you can't work in the future because of the injuries? Instead of taking a specific amount, it may be safer to enter an agreement where an independent medical team assess your condition to determine your required compensation on a yearly basis.
With a compensation system that awards a specific amount based on an injury percentage and medical need, you can ensure that you're able to cover your medical bills. If you can't work because of injuries, compensation can be increased to accommodate that need.
Education And Training Backup Plans
Your ability to work can affect the amount of compensation available to you. If you're not able to perform your old job, your legal opponent or compensation systems such as workers compensation or Social Security's disability program may not be able to help you as much.
Even worse, if you're awarded by Social Security, you may not be able to maintain your old standard of living on their level of compensation. If you don't want to be restricted by low compensation requirements, but can't do your old job, consider negotiating for education and training.
Research different career fields that are both within your interests and within your pay needs. Don't just shoot for your current skill, education or comfort level; depending on how much your opponent is at stake to lose with your injury, they could afford to assist with specific job training or a college education.
A college education isn't always expensive as it seems. If you suggest that your opponent hires a grant writing specialist, you could benefit from a professional who can search many parts of the education finance world to bring tuition funding to you. Your legal opponent would only need to pay the fees of the grant writer and any fees not covered by scholarships or grants.
Contact a workers compensation attorney to develop a strategy that defends not only your current wallet, but your future financial outlook. (For more information, you can contact Law Offices Jonathan Teperson)