What does your client expect from her workers’ comp settlement?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been negotiating back and forth with an insurance defense attorney at an Atlanta firm about my client’s potential workers’ compensation settlement.  An arthroscopic surgery has been prescribed.  My client wants to get the treatment; the insurer doesn’t want to pay for it, even though the claim is accepted.

After arguing over numbers and resolutions for weeks, last night the defense counsel wrote that I should “make sure the claimant knows we will not be offering this much if she has the surgery on our dime.”

I responded, “I assume you’ve never represented an injured person before, so I’ll explain something that is very obvious to me but might not be to you:  all my clients (or any other injured person) want is to be brought back as close to the place where they were the day before their injury as possible, whether that be physically, emotionally, financially, or all three, but often in that order of importance.  We’re way more concerned with getting her well than we are about a few thousand dollars.”

I’ve repeated this position to hundreds of clients over the past 5 years since switching “sides” to represent individuals instead of insurers.  Last night was the first time I’ve had to explain it to an opposing counsel.  Hopefully, he can now “get where we’re coming from,” metaphorically speaking.

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