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Don’t hesitate to negotiate workers’ compensation benefits

After an on-the-job injury, you probably have the grounds to file a workers' compensation claim, which is both good news and potentially bad news. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that protects both employees and employers, but without paying careful attention to the benefits that you receive, your coverage may benefit your employer far more than it benefits you.

When you accept workers' compensation, you generally give up your right to file an injury claim against your employer. Your employer can rest assured that you receive the medical care and financial support that you need to recover from the injury, which is costly, but not nearly as costly as a personal injury lawsuit. While you do stand to benefit, the rules of this game are generally written in favor of the employer, requiring special attention to detail in order to receive the benefits and coverage that you deserve.

If you recently experienced an injury on the job, it is wise to look at the details of your injury and the benefits that your employer offers. In many instances, you may negotiate for more favorable terms, but this requires navigating the complex rules and regulations set out by both state-level laws and the insurer providing your coverage. Be sure that you use all the resources you have available to identify and claim the full range of benefits your injury justifies.

Types of compensation you may receive

Workers' compensation primarily provides for medical treatment to address your injury and your ongoing recovery, as well as benefits to cover your lost income while you recover. However, when you scratch just below the surface, this is not as simple as it sounds.

Do you have an established relationship with a doctor that you trust and wish to oversee your care? Unless you know how to fight the system, your preferred doctor may not be on the list of approved providers, and you may get assigned to a doctor you do not know.

Similarly, your employer's insurer may only approve medical care from certain hospitals, whether they are the hospitals you trust or not. It may take some strong negotiation to get your preferred medical care providers approved by the insurer, but it is often possible with the proper approach.

It is also important to consider the length of your recovery and any long-term disability that your injuries leaves. If you simply accept the first compensation offer that the insurer makes, you will almost certainly leave money on the table. Workers' compensation does provide compensation for lost income, but this, too, is often less than you truly deserve. On almost every front, if the insurer can get away with paying out less than you deserve, it will, so you must diligently hold their feet to the fire to receive a fair settlement.

Protect your future

Until you dig in and closely examine the details of your injury, the costs of recovery, and the offer that your employers' insurer makes you, it is unlikely that you will receive the benefits that you deserve. Use all the legal tools at your disposal to protect your rights and fight unfair treatment. Focus on the hard work of recovering from your injury and returning to your personal and working life at full capacity.

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