Should I talk to a lawyer before taking an insurance adjuster’s settlement offer?

If you’ve been hurt at work and the insurance adjuster has offered you a workers comp settlement you should talk to a lawyer before accepting it.

Why you should talk to an attorney

The insurer has access to innumerable amounts of data on accidents similar to yours; it has lawyers and experienced adjusters; it can manipulate the medical care you receive via its status as payor (or threats to pull out of same) with doctors’ practices. It also conducts detailed searches, investigations, and surveillance on you. Most injured workers have never had a workplace injury and know nothing about how the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act “works” in practice or the tools at your disposal as an injured worker.

What is a workers comp settlement?

In a workers’ compensation settlement agreement, the injured worker agrees to close the workers’ comp case by exchanging on-going weekly benefits and medical expense payments for a lump sum of money.  

In Georgia, the workers’ compensation insurer does not have to settle your workers’ comp claim, but it usually will at some point, because an accepted workers’ comp claim could mean you are owed medical care related to your injury for the rest of your life, absent some subsequent accident or injury. Most insurance adjusters want to “close out” their files at some point to avoid a change in condition for the worse popping up years in the future after you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

You cannot be forced to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. You may be forced to attend a mediation and attempt to settle your case, but if the best offer given is not good enough for you, you may walk away.

How long will it take to settle my workers comp claim?

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation uses paperless filings through its ICMS system (Integrated Claims Management System) so workers’ compensation claims get approved quite quickly.  You can see a quick breakdown of the process of settling a workers’ comp claim in Georgia and getting paid here.

If my workers’ comp claim was accepted, why do I need a lawyer before taking a settlement offer?

There are many ways in which your claim can fall apart if you trust that the insurance company is looking out for you. One way includes offering you a premature (and far too low) settlement when you’re nowhere near finishing medical treatment. 

At our firm, we view our job as to restore an injured worker to as close to his pre-accident status medically and financially as possible. We want to help you get your life back. The insurer, in our observation, wants your case closed as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Please don’t let an entity with interests and goals adverse to yours make decisions that will affect your health and your finances for years and years to come. Instead, contact the Moebes Law injury lawyers to get help with your claim–advocacy in your time of need. Don’t just accept the insurer’s offer and trust it’s looking out for you, because it isn’t.

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