When it comes to accepting a lump-sum payment for your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand you are never the insurance company’s priority – an offer is being made to limit the expense and liability of your claim by locking in a lower cost for the insurance company through a settlement payout.
At Wanko Law, we believe anyone dealing with a work injury deserves immediate access to an experienced Louisiana workers’s compensation law firm. We focus exclusively on fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families and offer free and confidential consultations to discuss your case.
As discussed elsewhere on this site, the best time to consult with an experienced work injury lawyer in New Orleans, Covington or Raceland, is as soon as possible after an injury occurs. You have the right to choose your own physician, which will have a major impact on the treatments and benefits to which you are entitled. Choosing a doctor and making other major decisions about your care are always best done with the help and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation law firm.
Workers’ compensation insurers often use impairment ratings, Functional Capacity Evaluations and determinations of Maximum Medical Improvement to determine settlement offers, despite the fact that a disability or impairment ratings is typically not required by Louisiana workers’ compensation law. Each of these exams and determinations can have a significant impact on your rights to continue receiving benefits, as well as what benefits you may be entitled to for years to come. Unfortunately, by the time an injured worker becomes unsatisfied with the results, significant damage to his or her case may have already been done by proceeding without qualified legal help throughout this complex process.
Impairment ratings are usually determined during a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). This rating is often used by the insurance company to determine monetary awards (i.e. settlement offers). However, under Louisiana law, an impairment rating is not used to determine Supplemental Earnings Benefits, Temporary Total Disability benefits or Permanent Total Disability benefits. Rather, this impairment rating percentage is used to determine a monetary award under LA R.S. 23:1221 for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits, which concerns cases of amputation or loss of use of parts of an injured employee’s body.
For these reasons, it is somewhat rare that an impairment rating will be required for a Louisiana workers’ compensation claim. However, the fact that workers’ compensation insurance companies frequently insist injured workers undergo examinations to determine such ratings, and then use these ratings in settlement negotiations, leaves injured workers exposed and confused. This is another example of why consulting with an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation law firm at the outset of your case is often vital to protecting your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family.
At Wanko Law, our offices believe injured workers and their families are too often operating at a significant disadvantage throughout this process. In fact, we will review any potential settlement offer you receive and if we cannot get you more, we will not take any fees or expenses.
There are good reasons why an employee may choose to settle a claim, including the fact that a claim generally reaches maximum value between the time an employee completes major treatment and the time he or she can return to work. The passage of time, vocational rehabilitation, and an increasing ability to return to work in some capacity may all erode the value of a claim.
However, many challenges remain:
Under Louisiana workers’ compensation law, there are generally two types of work-injury settlement:
Lump sums must be very carefully negotiated by an experienced work injury attorney in New Orleans, Covington, or Raceland. Naturally, the workers’ compensation insurer will push for steep discounts in exchange for a fast settlement. However, it’s important to note that without any present-value discount, the insurer benefits in a number of important ways:
At Wanko Law, we focus exclusively on fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families. We don’t believe in negotiating away the full value of your claim for a quick payout. While we are here to serve our clients and their families, and their desires are critical to every decision we make, we know it is always a good deal for the insurance company to settle your claim for its full and fair value today.
If you have been injured, call day or night for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 985-893-6530.
Indemnity/Lost Wages — weekly payments based upon your average weekly wage; you will receive 66% of your average weekly wage capped at a maximum rate
Medical and/or Death — covers all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, including doctors visits, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, etc.
Mileage Reimbursement — travel related expenses to and from health care provider, pharmacy, etc. Vocational Rehabilitation program designed to retrain you in an attempt to return you to work for your previous employer, or find new work.