Getting the deserved amount of workers comp settlements for neck injuries can take anywhere between a few weeks to several months. With the right legal help, you can easily get the right amount in no time. If you choose a reliable lawyer, he/she will help you get the deserved amount as soon as possible. Therefore, you should always choose the best legal help available in the market.
Typical Amount of Time Take for Workers Comp Attorney Settlement
The amount of time taken for the judge and the jury to grant the workers’ comp settlement amount depends on multiple factors. A few factors that decide the time in which you will get the final settlement amount include:
The Complexity of the Case
The legal cases that are tough to crack will reap the necessary settlement amount to the victim in a longer period. Even the best lawyers will not be able to help you get the settlement amount within a week if the legal case is just too complicated. The complexity of the case also determines the amount of effort that both the defense and prosecution counsels put into the case.
The complexity of the case is further determined on the following factors:
- Determining Who Is At Fault
The worker’s comp cases are more complicated than a conventional car accident case because it is hard to determine who is at fault in many situations. Sometimes the employer’s negligence is the chief cause of the accident. In other situations, the negligence on behalf of the victim/employee is the major cause of the accident.
Such accidents usually happen in manufacturing industries, factories, and places that involve a lot of labor-intensive work. However, these cases are not specifically related to such industries. In fact, an employee can sue the company that offers him/her a desk job too. If an employee is not offered a comfortable seating position, he/she may develop a significant amount of back pain in no time. In such conditions, the employee has the right to sue his/her employer for not offering healthy workplace conditions.
- Assessing the Condition of the Accident
The complex cases require a deeper assessment than the more conventional cases. The lawyers need to look at the case from multiple angles for both the prosecution as well as defense part. Assessment of the accident in an unbiased manner can help the lawyer, as well as the victims, collect evidence in a natural manner.
The assessment of the condition of the accident can take anywhere between a few hours to several days depending on various factors like location, time, as well as people involved in the accident. A fair assessment of the conditions will help the individuals participating in the legal case build a strong case for defense/prosecution purposes.
- Assessing the Situations that Caused the Accident in the First Place
After assessing the post-conditions of the accident, the lawyers need to assess the conditions that led up to the accident. What were the different factors that caused the accident in the first place? Every small detail counts in such cases if you wish to build a strong case against the defense counsel.
The best lawyers can step into the shoes of the defense counsel to detect all the ways in which it will try and avoid the case. They will then prepare their prosecution strategies accordingly to help you win a huge settlement amount. Assessing the situations that caused the accident usually takes a few hours. However, the employer may try to delay the process due to confidentiality concerns. In such cases, the assessment process can take up to several days.
- Safety Measures Taken by the Employer
Did the employer take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the employees? If the employer has taken the necessary steps to do so, he/she can build a strong counter-argument against the workers’ compensation cases. Under such situations, the victim’s legal counsel needs to prepare the case in a slightly different way to get leverage in the condition.
Most employers that ensure a high standard of living for their workplaces take the necessary safety measures. They also take the necessary measures to increase the comfort levels of the employees by offering them the necessary perks in a timely fashion.
- Miscellaneous Factors
There are several other factors that can increase the complexity of the case including the time, location, negligence, as well as the statements of the witnesses of the accident. The top lawyers can leverage these miscellaneous factors to their advantage to build a strong case against the opposing counsel.
The miscellaneous factors sometimes hold more importance than all the other factors on the list. In fact, in the most complex cases, the sheer quantity of the miscellaneous factors will be enough to make a huge difference in the courtroom.
Therefore, the complexity of the case is directly proportional to the amount of time that your lawyers will need to win the settlement amount for you. In the conditions where you have an extremely strong case against the employer, the lawyer will not waste any time in taking the case to the court. In fact, he/she will negotiate with the defense counsel on your behalf to win the best offer as soon as possible.
- Amount to be Disbursed
Companies usually hesitate to disburse huge settlement amounts quickly. Instead, they try and delay the case for as long as possible. Under situations where they lose the case with a huge difference and must pay out a large sum, they give the total money out in installments. The smartest companies give the employee a small amount of money on a weekly or a yearly basis to fulfill the total cost of the settlement.
In such situations, your lawyer can help you get the total settlement cleared quickly. If your lawyer is smart enough, he/she will take the inflation of the amount into consideration and charge a higher sum when the company wishes to settle by giving the money in smaller installments. In such situations, you should always ask your lawyer to leverage the upper hand and get the money as soon as possible.
In conditions of severe physical damage, the companies usually pay a salary to the employees consistently through the insurance agency instead of paying a lump sum amount. You can find the details of such transactions in your company’s legal policy and insurance schemes during the placement. Companies usually give such information to their employees during the onboarding session. Therefore, read all the documents carefully before signing the dotted line.
- Negotiation Skills of the Lawyer
The negotiation skills of the lawyer are extremely important in complex cases. A reliable lawyer can help you win the necessary sum in a short period even in the most complicated cases. On the other hand, the inexperienced lawyers can ruin a strong case and lose the entire argument in the courtroom. Therefore, you should always choose the strongest lawyers in the field who can fight the case for you.
The top lawyers have the experience of fighting multiple cases in their careers. They know all the different complicated scenarios that the defense will try to bring up during the trial. If the case does go to trial, the best lawyers try and get the deal on the first session itself. They never let the defense ask for a secondary date to collect more evidence.
In situations where your case is extremely strong against the defense counsel, the insurance company will want to settle out of the court. It will never let you take the case to trial since most judges and juries end up ruling in favor of the victim. Once they do so, the insurance agency must eventually pay a huge sum of money just to settle the case in court.
These situations where the insurance company does not let you take the case to trial by settling outside, it will try and waste time in the negotiation process. The best lawyers can handle the pressure of negotiating with the defense counsel in a professional manner. These lawyers have the confidence to ask for the best offer or walk away from the table to take the defense to court.
Sometimes, the inexperienced lawyers overestimate their capacity to earn the settlement amount and ask for a huge settlement offer. These lawyers do not have the right evidence of backstory to validate such claims. In such cases, the defense will be more than happy to go to the court and fight the battle against you. If the defense proves the negligence on your behalf, you face the risk of walking out the courtroom empty-handed.
The Severity of the Medical Condition
The severity of the medical condition is an extremely important factor that governs the amount of time that the defense might take to present a final offer. In the case of the worst medical conditions, the defense will have no option but to pay the necessary amount as soon as possible. However, even in such conditions, a smart defense counsel will present a case in a way where it gets a little extension in the payment.
In the worst-case scenarios, the victim requires a lot of money for medical treatment. Under such situations, the insurance policy of the victim kicks into motion and provides the necessary financial cushion. The insurance agency of the employer will help the victim compensate for the loss of earning, as well as the emotional trauma caused due to the accident.
The jury also acts on the severe medical condition cases quickly and gives a swift judgment in favor of the victim. It will most likely ask the insurance company of the employer to pay the necessary amount for settlement within a couple of weeks. The insurance company has no choice but to pay the amount within the set deadline to avoid penalties.
The Strength of the Defense Counsel
A strong defense counsel can defend the interests of the employer extremely well. It will ensure that the insurance company of the employer does not pay a significant amount in the settlement cost. Even if we cannot avoid the inevitable, it will try and delay it as much as possible. The strongest defense lawyers know all the tactics in the book to keep the money in the bank of the insurance agency for a long period.
The best defense lawyers can take the necessary measures to delay the payment by several years at a time. In such cases, they will convince the judge and jury to give them more time for the evidence collection process. In such cases, the victim’s life savings are at risk because the person or accident insurance policy can provide only limited coverage.
The insurance agencies can afford to hire the best defense lawyers in the state by paying them heftily. For these insurance agencies, paying a high salary to these lawyers is a great return on investment because the lawyers ensure that the company does not need to pay the victim a high settlement amount. To counter such a strong defense counsel, you need your own reliable legal support for the workers compensation battle.
Ideally, you should hire the most reliable and experienced lawyers in the industry to handle the case for you. These lawyers will charge a slightly heftier fee. However, you can get an excellent return on investment with such lawyers since they can guarantee to win the case for you with a higher settlement amount.
What Actions Do the Employers Take to Prevent Such Cases Against Them?
Employers often take several measures to prevent such lawsuits against their organizations. The top multi-national companies usually have an in-house legal team or a partnership with some of the best lawyers in the world. They are completely prepared to handle all the lawsuits that can tarnish the company’s name or value in the minds of their customers.
The employers usually take multiple precautionary measures to prevent such cases against them.
Provide a Comfortable Working Environment
The number one job of an employer is to keep its employees happy. The best organizations in the world might not be customer-centric, but they are definitely employee-centric. They feel that if they can keep their employees happy, the employees, in turn, will keep the customers happy.
By providing a comfortable working environment, the employers ensure that the employees do not find any excuse to sue them with a corrective measure. Such employers often have open floor unmoderated discussions with the employees to find out more about their needs. They have dedicated human resource managers who can help them identify the core requirements of the employees.
Offer Perks to the Employees
Several organizations offer nifty perks to their employees. These perks include good food, travel, accommodation, etc. to make the lives of their employees better. The employer usually faces the maximum amount of risk from people that it relies on heavily. The employees who know that they have leverage on the organization will be in a better position to sue them for a higher amount. Therefore, it is extremely important for the organization to keep its top employees happy.
The employer may not be directly concerned about the health of the employee. However, he/she needs to take any alarms raised by the employee in due consideration.
Take the Necessary Safety Measures
In the case of industries that involve a lot of labor-intensive tasks around heavy machinery, the employer is responsible for providing the right means of safety for its employees. The employer must put the safety of the employees before everything else if it wants to avoid any legal action.
Providing the right comfortable and safe clothing, harnesses, pulleys, machinery, helmets, etc. is an extremely important task for the employer. An employee can sue the company without taking any physical damage by just claiming that he/she does not “Feel” safe working in a particular environment. Therefore, it is important that employers consistently and regularly talk to their employees to find more ways to make the workplace fun and comfortable.
Put Up Informative Signs About Dangerous Elements
Manufacturing industries and factories that have multiple heavy machines often put several safety warnings and signs around the place to keep their employees informed. These small signs will help the company’s defense counsel put the complete blame for the accident on the victim’s negligence in certain cases.
By putting up the informative signs, the factory/plant managers ensure that the employees can stay away from the dangerous components/elements in the workplace. The biggest factories and manufacturing plants need to have a regular audit on its safety policies to ensure that every warning sign is in the correct place. With the right audits, the company can completely prevent any mishaps that might occur otherwise.
Train the Employees Correctly
Employers often invest a lot of time, money, and energy in training their employees correctly. These employers do this for two major reasons.
- Serve the Customers Better: The training helps the new employees of the organization treat its customers better. This training can inculcate the company’s true workplace ethics into the minds of the employees.
- Operate in a Functional and Safe Manner: The training helps the employees understand the safest way of working with heavy machineries (if any). It also teaches the employees to work in a productive fashion without hampering their own safety.
The employers can use the training as a proof against the victim of an accident to show the judge and the jury that it provided all the means to avoid the accident in the first place.
Give the Employees a Free Personal Insurance Policy
Most modern-day multi-national companies give their employees a free personal insurance policy. This insurance policy takes care of the employees’ basic needs and accidents (if any) at the workplace.
The policy is beneficial to both the company as well as the individual. In the event of a workplace accident, the personal insurance policy of the individual kicks into the picture first. Most of the times, this insurance policy is enough to take care of the medical expenses of the employee. When a company shows that it cares about the employees, the employees will not feel the urge to sue it in the first place.
Host Events and Outdoor Activities to Boost Employee Morale
The top organizations often take the happiness of their employees seriously. They do multiple productive team-building activities such as outdoor events, games, field trips, etc. to boost employee morale. They ensure that the employees feel completely comfortable while working for the organization.
These small acts are not mandatory for the company. However, they help the company establish an employee-centric and employee-friendly work environment. This image is extremely helpful for the organization when it is fighting a legal battle against an employee. By showcasing this image to the judge and the jury, the defense will try and convince that the organization is already doing an excellent job in keeping its employees happy and safe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
In the United States, the average cost of a nerve damage settlement is $21,800. But keep in mind that this is just the standard payment. It also means that workers comp payment for nerve damage can vary from as little as two thousand dollars to about forty thousand dollars. And in rare circumstances, nerve damage settlements can pay over $60,000. Therefore, there’s no defined amount that a worker will be paid as a settlement for nerve damage. This is because cases usually vary and nerve damage entails a wide selection of injuries ranging from slight discomfort to permanent disabilities.
The highest workers’ comp settlement will vary depending on the injury sustained and state. Currently, California has the highest ever workers’ compensation settlement in the United States. The state’s previous $8.9 million settlement in 2012 was beaten in 2017 with a record $10 million comp settlement.
The average workers’ comp for a neck injury is worth about $21,800. But settlement amounts can go into millions of dollars. For slight neck and back injuries, you can expect smaller settlements of between $10,000 and $100,000. However, for an accurate value of your neck injury claim, it’s best to consult an attorney.
Yes. Workers’ comp settlement increases gradually with the age of the employee. According to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine’s study in 2012, the medical expense of a work-related injury rises by 1.1% while the insurance cost of an injury rises by 3.5% for every year you age. Therefore, certain injuries are responsible for higher settlements among older workers in comparison with their younger counterparts.
Pain and suffering often account for the largest percentage of workers’ comp claims. This is because of the lengthy and painful recovery process. But calculating pain and suffering can be quite complicated depending on your condition. Besides, some states have regulations to limit claims for pain and suffering. New Hampshire has the highest limit at $875,000, followed by Maryland at $350,000, while Ohio and California both have caps at $250,000. Consulting with an attorney will give you an accurate amount and improve your chances of success.
The top lawyers can help you win the case of a workers comp settlement for a herniated disc and other severe medical conditions within a few weeks. They will effectively shorten the entire time needed for the court to close the case with a fair settlement amount by doing the following:
- File the right paperwork in an error-free manner
- Leverage the connections in the legal sector
- Gather evidence for you against the employer
- Assess the case in the right way and drive the negotiations in a structured manner
Today, you have the complete rights to fight your legal battle against an organization without the help of a lawyer. However, it is strongly advisable for you to get counseling from a lawyer before you step into court. A reliable lawyer will give you the necessary knowledge to fight and win the case in the shortest period. The best lawyers will do everything in their power to close the case as quickly as possible with a fair settlement amount for you.