How to Determine the Settlement Value of Your Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Claim
What Procedural Factors are Considered in Valuing a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Claim?*Are you on compensation, or merely pursuing a claim for same?
*What description of injury, if any, has been admitted by the employer/insurer?
*Do you have any adverse personal history, such as multiple prior claims or history of drug abuse appearing in your medical records?
*Have you attempted to return to work at any time? If so, what was the result?
*Is the employer able to present fact witnesses to dispute the circumstances of your injury, return to work efforts or availability of light duty work?
*Is the employer asserting you have been fired for causes unrelated to your injury?
*Is there a pending offer for return to work, for full duty or light duty?
*Have you testified before the Judge?
*If so, how clearly were you able to make your case? How well did you stand up to cross examination? How consistent was your testimony with the other evidence?
*Who is the presiding Workers' Compensation Judge?
*Does your attorney focus his/her practice in Workers Comp or is he/she a "dabbler."
What Medical Factors are Considered in Valuing a PA Work Injury Claim?*What medical treatment are you getting?
*What are your diagnoses, according to your doctors?
*Is there strong support for long-term disability in your doctors' records?
*Are there objective diagnostic tests, like MRIs or EMGs, to support your claim?
*Are there negative tests, which may hurt your claim?
*What is your past medical history, and have you admitted it consistently with all doctors?
*Do your medical records suggest any credibility issues?
*How big is the difference between what the insurance medical expert says you can do and what your own doctor would allow you to attempt?
*Have you admitted and discussed your past medical history with all doctors, to avoid this becoming an issue of your own credibility?
*Have you been able to get to the right doctors and specialists, and able to get the proper medical testing, to fully support your claim?
*Is your attorney investing the money to have the right experts testify?
*Does your lawyer fully understand the medical issues involved?
How Can Selecting the Right Attorney Help the Settlement Value of My Case?A truly gifted workers' comp attorney will review every scrap of medical evidence with a keen eye for what points will help you and what points need to be deflected or converted to your benefit. He will orchestrate the medical witness testimony so that the formal record dramatically favors your position. This is how a strong attorney shows the insurance carrier what your case is worth, driving home the point that your settlement must be for full value.
Nearly all the factors above can be influenced by the experience and aggressiveness of the work injury lawyer you choose. Find a lawyer who fights hard to get the maximum value for every case. Avoid firms that regard workers' compensation as a volume business, handling large numbers of cases but passing off your file from one lawyer to another without continuity or strategy. Find a tough, knowledgeable lawyer who will remain intimately, aggressively and actively engaged. Follow that lawyer's advice, and you will do very well.