Evaluating a case for settlement value includes a thorough review of the medical records, earning history, ongoing limitations, job market, transferable skills, age and many other factors. If you negotiate directly with the adjuster, you will be at a disadvantage. I would strongly suggest that you contact a competent workers' compensation lawyer to review your case. In most cases, the added value of having your case negotiated by a competent attorney will more than outweigh any attorney's fee you have to pay for the lawyer's services.
Timothy D. Belt, Esquire Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania. firstname.lastname@example.org www.belt-law.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.
I would agree with Timothy. This is something that need to sit down with a lawyer and go over. Anyone of the lawyers who regularly contribute to Avvo are more than competent to help you ...
Probably the single most important factor in determining the value of your case is your preinjury average weekly wage. There are many, many factors that go into the proper valuation of the case. I would strongly suggest that you speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to be in a position to work out the best deal. It may not even be appropriate to settle your case at this point.
This article might help:
I would be happy to speak with you if you have questions.
Anyone willing to guess at the value of your claim after reading a paragraph is doing you a disservice. An experienced WC attorney will not only be able to provide you with an expected settlement range (AFTER getting pertinent information from you and possibly the insurer) but also advise you what you can expect procedure-wise, in both the short and long run. Every case is different, and if you are interested in settling your claim, you want to be sure you are preparing your case to be postured for settlement at the most advantageous time as possible. You should call an atty ASAP. Good luck.
Francis J. Lafferty, IV, Esquire Helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. email@example.com www.norlaflaw.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.
Simple answer: far less without an attorney than with one. The insurance company's willingness to settle for a true full value will be tied to their assessment of whether they think they can pressure a lowball settlement, whether they think you can withstand that pressure when they start to play with your claim to put you at risk of losing your comp, etc. They will NOT offer a full value settlement to someone who is unrepresented. Instead, they will offer about 1/5 to 1/3 of a proper valuation and threaten things like vocational evaluation and labor market survey to reduce or eliminate your compensation. If you don't bite, they will move toward such remedies for them, problems for you. Far better for you to get an attorney now who can guide you to make the right moves to protect and advance your rights. This includes moves to shore up your medical support and other proactive steps you can take to increase the pressure on the insurer while showing them that you will stand up to any pressure they try to put on you. This can often lead a more immediate settlement and one at full value, since they can be made to recognize that with competent and aggressive representation on your side, all of their moves to negatively impact your claim value could easily backfire and simply result in costs for them. If not, at least you will have an attorney in place to fight for you when they attempt a Suspension or Termination Petition, and who meanwhile can walk you through things like an insurance medical examination, etc., to guide you to protect your rights. Good attorneys meanwhile do not charge you anything in this kind of claim unless and until the insurer forces you into court and we secure your benefits (and then the trade off is we pay the thousands of dollars for the medical depositions and other costs, so we spend more on your claim than we take in during litigation), or until we reach a settlement you agree to (which I would again assure you will be multiples of what the insurer would give you if you have no attorney).
The best decision you can make is to talk to a lawyer that is experienced in Pennsylvania workers' compensation law. Discussing settlement of your case with the case worker is a bad idea. The case worker was hired and paid by the insurance company. Thus, he or she is working for the insurance company. Given the severity of your injury plus surgical treatment, it may be too early discussing settlement with the insurance company.