Shouldn't My Claim Value Be Worth More in Georgia?
Claim Value Worth in Georgia
Workers’ Compensation Claim value is a common topic for workers’ compensation claimants. People are often surprised when I give them an estimation as to what their workers compensation claim settlement value in Georgia. Typically, I hear that people are frustrated because there is no element of pain and suffering for their settlement. Unfortunately, work injuries in Georgia are not compensated as personal injuries would be. Specifically, the settlement is voluntary, meaning no one ever has to settle a case and that includes the insurance company. There are a few employers/insurers that will not settle cases at all. But if they do, it has to be an agreement between the parties. We cannot go to a judge and ask for a settlement and there are no juries that award money.
Personal Injury vs Workers’ Compensation Claim Values
Personal injury settlements can be much higher as there is sometimes loss of consortium or pain and suffering claims, neither of which apply in Georgia workers compensation claims. Three things go into what makes up a workers compensation settlement.
- A permanent impairment rating assigned by the Authorized Treating Physician. This is pursuant to the AMA Guides and calculated with a formula based on your compensation rate.
- An amount assigned for the closure of medical care costs. These are somewhat arbitrary and negotiable. If there is no surgery recommended, you may get anywhere from $3,500 to $7,500.
- Evaluation for future income benefits claimants off work. For example, the doctor agreed to work restrictions when the employer can’t handle those restrictions. If you are released to regular duty work, then your claim is not going to have as much value. Also, if you are put on work restrictions, it will drive a higher settlement value. This is the key piece of claim value.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Values and Settlement Amounts
Typically, case valuation and settlement amounts depend on whether there is a reasonable defense attorney or adjuster on the file. I have been valuing cases for well over 15 years and have a very good idea of what insurance will pay. Never consider the settlement of your case without speaking to an attorney. You will receive a lower claim settlement without an attorney because the other side knows you don’t have case valuation experience. Finally, this is a post containing a list of reasons why it’s best to work with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Contact Beth Gearhart at (404) 445-8370 for more insight into your claim value and different factors driving the settlement.