If you have been injured on the job, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help protect your legal rights and get you fair compensation. This is not always the case if you settle with an insurance company before seeking the advice of an attorney.
What Insurance Companies Do to Settle Your Case
When you report a work-related injury to your employer, it is their responsibility to submit a workers’ comp claim to the insurance company where they get workers’ compensation coverage. In Rhode Island, this must be done within 10 days of the incident. Once the insurance company gets involved with the claim, they are often in a rush to get the claim settled and for the least amount of money.
You may get calls from an insurance adjuster attempting to get you to agree to settle your claim. The insurance company is never interested in giving you the full amount of compensation you deserve; rather, they’re concerned about their bottom line and saving their company as much money as possible. The role of the insurance adjuster is to determine the value of your case, discuss a settlement amount, and get you back to work as quickly as possible. The sooner you return to work, the less money they will need to pay out.
An insurance adjuster may do the following to devalue your case, so you get the least amount of compensation:
- Not tell you about the full benefits you are eligible to receive under workers’ compensation
- Ask you for a statement, either recorded or signed, that can be used against your case
- Ask you to sign a medical records release form
- Advise you to not contact an attorney and to settle for the amount they are offering
- Recommend you use a specific doctor they choose to handle your treatment and care. Their doctor may have a different opinion about when you can return to work.
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Case
Since a workers’ compensation settlement cannot be disputed once it is issued, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can represent you. An attorney can help you understand what you may be giving up before you agree to settle your case.
Keep in mind that once you agree to a workers’ comp settlement, it is final. You are no longer able to ask for additional benefits beyond what was in the settlement that you signed and agreed to. You will want to look for an attorney who is experienced with workers’ comp cases and can help you get the full amount possible for your claim.
An attorney can do the following to help with your workers’ compensation claim:
- Gather the evidence needed to support your case
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Determine the value of your claim and any benefit you may be entitled to under workers’ compensation
- Review your settlement to determine if it is fair
- Represent you if your case goes to court
Have You Been Injured On The Job In Rhode Island?
If you've been hurt at work you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help work injury victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.